Italians Upset That The Mafia Are Italian

UNICO National, a group that represents Italian Americans, has lodged a protest with publishers Take-Two over the portrayal of the Mafia in upcoming game Mafia II. Because, you know. The mafia are portrayed as Italian Americans.

Andre' DiMino, president of the group, says the game is "racist nonsense".

"Why would Take Two foist a game on their targeted audience of young people wherein they will indoctrinate a new generation into directly associating Italians and Italian-Americans with violent, murderous organized crime, to the exclusion of all of the other 'mafias' run by other ethnic and racial groups?" he says.

"Take Two is directly, blatantly and unfairly discriminating and demeaning one group to the exclusion of all others. We are demanding they halt release of the game and cleanse it of all references to Italians and Italian-Americans".

Of course, DiMino hasn't played the game. Nor does he seem to be aware the game's name is "Mafia II", not "Yakuza II" or "Triads II". He also seems to be unaware that the mafia are a bunch of Italian Americans, which is surprising considering his role as head of a group of Italian Americans.

Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick really didn't even need to respond, but he did, issuing a statement that read:

Mafia II tells a compelling story about organized crime in America — a subject that for decades has been featured in movies, television shows and novels. Neither UNICO nor any other organisation purporting to represent Italian-Americans has seen or played Mafia II.

At Take-Two, we balance our right to free expression with what we believe is a thoughtful and responsible approach to creating and marketing our products," he continued. "Mafia II is M-rated in accordance with our industry's strict standards. It is specifically not targeted toward young people.

We will only release a title that meets our standards: as art, as entertainment and as a socially responsible product," Zelnick concluded. "We aim to distinguish creative and compelling story telling that advances artistic expression from subject matter that gratuitously exploits or glorifies violence or stereotypes. I fully and completely stand behind our creative teams and products, including Mafia II.

Italian-American Group UNICO Takes Issue With Mafia II, Take-Two Responds [Gamasutra]


Comments

    Great... Members of Take Two are now going to wake up with horse heads in their bed.

    In related news:

    Japanese upset for being portrayed as Samurai

    Russians upset for being portrayed as communists

    Australians upset for being portrayed as Paul Hogan

      that's not a knife, THIS is a knife.

        croikey, he's roight!!

        I think you mean a "NOIFE"

        That's a spoon...

        I see you've played knifey-spoony before!

      And americans are upset that fat, lazy people are americans... wait, what?!

    Did they protest against HBO for making the The Sopranos?

    I wonder who the group would choose to be re-presented if it can't be the Italian-Americans?

    Maybe they should take there case up with Mario and luigi

    AHAHAHAHAHA. Tell you what, if Take 2 choose to make their next game about the Victorian gangland murders, being a white Australian (why does saying that always sound racist?) I won't mind haha

      it probably sounds racist because of the 'White Australia' policy, which was quite racist.

    What would they have us do? Just forget that Cosa Nostra was brought to America directly from Sicily?

    Yeah fair enough. Its like how in all the WWII games all those Nazi's are German. Oh, wait a minute...

      You're right, it's totally unfair. Think of all those poor under-represented Austrians.

    As a matter of fact oggob, UNICO did have a good whinge about The Sopranos. Their argument is pathetic to say the least. In essence what they are saying is that because a story portrays a group of Italian-Americans as criminals that somehow implies that the author of said story is suggesting that *all* Italian-Americans are criminals. Talk about clutching at straws. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall there being cries of racism over GTA: San Andreas. And it would've been surprisingly easy to kick up a stink, too - "Goodness me, a game is portraying African-Americans as no-good thugs! OMG THAT'S RACIST!!!"

    When did people become so thin-skinned?

      Actually some people did; this article got a lot of attention: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/12/technology/circuits/12urba.html

      I still think its B.S. though, at least in reference to San Andreas, which I reckon was fairly reasonable/honest (okay, for a game that lets you cruise through the hood with a jetpack, at least).

    The point at which art has to be politically correct is the point at which humanity has gone to hell.

    Maybe they did'nt get the idea that a game about Italian-American gangsters, would primarily feature Italian-American gangsters.

    maybe take -two should mobe to rapture where the mind of the artist isnt restricted by the cencorship of the parasite

    I demand the production of all games that depict American soldiers. Its discrimination. They are showing american soldiers to be gungho super killers that mow down the every one they can.

    From now on, no game will have humans represented, they will either be Yellow Smile faces, or monkeys.

    Just for once -just ONCE- I'd like the official developer response to this sort of crap be "Shut the fuck up you stupid whiners". Because honestly, you're not under any obligation to take this bullshit seriously. It'd probably be GOOD for PR to show some guts, especially with the kind of audience that this game appeals to in the first place.

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