Sopranos actor Joseph Gannascoli, who played gay mobster Vito Spatafore and up until last week was marketing a pool cue with his name on it by tying it to the long-running show, has hit back at GLAAD after they forced the company manufacturing the cue to pull it from their website.
GLAAD was understandably disturbed by the fact that Gannascoli was marketing what was used as a murder weapon in the series. Gannascoli’s character was beaten to death with such a cue and then sodomized with it because he was gay. Gannascoli was marketing the instrument as “a cue to die for”.
Neil Giuliano, GLAAD’s president, called on Rockwell Billiards to stop selling the item: “It’s highly inappropriate that what served as a very real example of the hateful violence the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community faces is now being used as a gimmick to sell a product. The insensitive inclusion of the pool cue in the ‘To Die For’ marketing theme betrays the legacy of The Sopranos character and is unacceptable.”
The company quickly took note.
Said Gannascoli after Rockwell Billiards pulled the cue: “‘I’m taking it personal that this has come so far. I’m mad at GLAAD. M-A-A-D.’ Gannascoli said GLAAD doesn’t care about the abuse he’s taken since playing Vito. Sopranos fans have called him names, he said, and he’s been attacked in a nightclub. ‘In my neighborhood! In Brooklyn! I defended it. I say it’s a … role, morons. It’s in every walk of life. Get used to it.'”
Sopranos’ Gay Vito Markets Murder Weapon That Bludgeoned Him [tr]