Chris Cuomo: What does ‘Fredo’ slur from The Godfather mean?

A video grab of the confrontation with Chris Cuomo called Fredo by a Trump supporter.
A video grab of the confrontation where Chris Cuomo is called “Fredo”. Pic credit: YouTube

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is at the center of a social media storm after being filmed threatening to throw a man down some stairs after being called “Fredo”.

Cuomo was seen on camera phone video confronting the man who had referred to him using the name — which Cuomo took as a reference to the dim brother from The Godfather film trilogy, who was murdered by his brother Michael for betraying the family.

Being called a “Fredo” normally means someone views you as unintelligent.

In the viral video, Cuomo was caught in a rage and said that the use of “Fredo” was as insulting to people of Italian heritage as the “n-word” is when used to refer to African-Americans and people of color.

“No punk ass bitches from the right call me ‘Fredo,'” Cuomo said. “My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN.”

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic said in a statement on Twitter late Monday. “We completely support him.”

In the video, Cuomo said: “It’s a f***ing insult to your people. It’s like the N-word to us.”

The man arguing with Cuomo took off his glasses when things started getting heated.

FOX anchor Sean Hannity defended Cuomo on his Twitter feed:

Adding his support was Anthony Scaramucci, who is currently divorcing President Donald J. Trump in a messy Twitter tit for tat.

Who was Fredo from The Godfather?

Boston born actor John Cazale played Frederico “Fredo” Corleone, the middle of three brothers portrayed in Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather made into three films by Francis Ford Coppola. Sonny was the eldest and Michael was the baby in the Corleone family. Connie was the only sister in the Corleone clan.

Fredo famously was exiled to Las Vegas in a position that was done as a favor to the family, but he was never viewed with any respect.

Twitchy by nature and always looking for an angle to insert himself in the important family business, Fredo was considered the weak link by enemies of the family and looked at by all as being feeble minded. He also had a drinking problem and married a non-Italian showgirl who embarrassed the family back east.

Despite his faults and shortcomings, he was a loving son to his mother and uncle to the various children in the Corleone family.

The death of Fredo, orchestrated by brother Michael, was over Fredo’s betrayal of the Corleones to Hyman Roth through his association with Johnny Ola. This fact was discovered by Michael inside a club in Havana when an inebriated Fredo revealed he took Johnny Ola there to view a lurid live sex show.

Michael made the decision to kill his brother Fredo during a fishing outing at their Lake Tahoe compound in The Godfather Part II.


The term “fishing with Fredo” soon became a cultural expression meaning someone was going to die.

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