Kiddy network Nickleodeon will premiere Nicky Deuce on May 27 which "centers on Nicholas Borelli II, a.k.a. Nicky Deuce, a nerdy teen who finds himself in Brooklyn with a mobster uncle he never knew he had after his plans to attend math camp go awry" as reported by The Huffington Post.
The film casts several actors from The Sopranos, and last year Nickelodeon executive Majorie Cohn said "having the Sopranos actors adds a level of authenticity and fun" as then reported by Martin Chilton for The Telegraph. Among the tv show's alumni who appear in the upcoming flick is Tony Sirico who was convicted on a 1970 gun charge after allegedly harassing John Addison who operated the gay club The Together.
The Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition is calling for a boycott of Nicky Deuce, and president Manny Alfano says "these trash-television purveyors now want to brainwash a new generation with this insidious and hurtful stereotype of Italian Americans" as reported by Suburban News.
Frankly, it's hard to accept the mob genre as an appropriate subject for a kiddy network to explore give the long history of child exploitation by the Mafia.
What's next for Nickleodeon? A movie about Mike Umbers and Ed Murphy who pimped out underage boys for the Gambino and Genovese crime families? Or maybe an expose on the child porn racket operated by Gambino capo Robert DiBernardo? Perhaps Nickleodeon can next tell the story about the Sicilian mobsters who kidnapped 11-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo, and then after torturing the boy for two years finally killed him and dissolved his body in acid? How about a series on pedophile mobsters like Genovese capo Salvatore Granello or Outfit crew boss Jimmy Allegretti?
No doubt Nicky Deuce is nothing but white-washed comedic entertainment about the Mafia. To flip a phrase from Majorie Cohn the movie is less about "authenticity" and more about "fun." However, given the harm which the Mafia has perpetrated against children, portraying it as anything but pure evil perhaps is the real fault with Nicky Deuce.
Shame on Nickleodeon.