Welcome to the Italian-Americans Against Media Stereotypes blog, better known as IAAMS (not to be confused with the company that makes pet food, which by the way only has one “a”!).
On a regular basis, this blog will alert you to advertisements, statements, broadcasts, articles and anything else I can find that portray Italian-Americans (and Italians, too, for that matter) as buffoons, Mafiosi, idiots, morons and other negative stereotypes. The purpose of this blog is to point out these instances and hopefully enlighten you to the problem of negative media portrayals – if you’re motivated to write a letter or send an email to the offending party, all the better.
This blog is not about censorship. I do not advocate (as some groups out there do) that Italian-American actors who portray Mafiosi on TV and in the movies should be ashamed of themselves and never work again because of it. I will not demand that a particular television network pull a show or series off the air because it may portray Italian-Americans in a negative light. But I will point out that it is happening and you can either stop watching the show (which is the best course of action – if the ratings slide, the show will eventually be cancelled) or write a letter or send an email to the network’s president and let it be known that you don’t appreciate the negative portrayal. I’ll also point out any instances of positive portrayals of Italian-Americans in the media (though unfortunately, those posts probably will be few and far between).
I hope you find this blog entertaining, informative and maddening. Italian-Americans are one of the few ethnic groups left that the media feels are fair game for negative stereotyping (along with gays and blondes!). To borrow a phrase from the movie Network,“We’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”
If you come across an instance of negative stereotyping in your local newspaper, a magazine, on TV, radio or the Internet, drop me an Email and let me know. I’ll be happy to blog about it and hopefully together we can help change the all-to-pervasive negative images of Italian-Americans in the media today.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Posted by and © Dean Tomasula at 1:08 PM