Joseph R. Gannascoli, who played gay mobster Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, is using his fame to market a billiard cue, which he has branded with his name, character signature, and the phrase “A Cue to Die For”.
Unfortunately, it was just such an instrument that Vito was beaten to death and then sodomized with in the television series.
Said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano: “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.”
In an April 2006 interview, Gannascoli talked about how he offered up the idea that Vito might be gay to the show’s producers: “I saw him as, like, a cross between Mike Tyson and Liberace. I wanted to make him sort of in self-denial, self-loathing, a real gay hater. I thought that was a way of separating myself from the other actors, because I would have been in the background most of the time. You know, line here, line there, and nothing really substantial.”
Below, Gannascoli plays some pool with the “Cue to Die For”. A press release from Rockwell Billiards gives contact information for media interested in interviewing Gannascoli: “Joe Gannascoli (Vito) is available for radio and television interviews. To schedule, call Doug Friedman at (973) 985-1050. Rockwell Billiards: John Candy (877) 231-1466.”
A Cue to Die For [rockwell billiards]