The Sopranos And The Shapiros
Point Well Taken: It's Apparently OK To
Satire Some Minorities But Not Others...
From Jim T. Art

This letter was sent to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, Nov. 5, 2002
Dear Mr. Alter...
Please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your reply to my letter of Oct. 10 in which I was critical of your essay in which you compared New Jersey Senator, Robert Torachelli with the fictitious crime boss, Tony Soprano. Regarding the comparison, you said you were merely, " trying to be funny".
As for the question of whether the show demeans Italians, you took the position that this is "much debated" and then gratuitously stated that, "the Italians who created the program and act in it obviously don't think so".        
Ethnic disparagement that masquerades as humor is easiest when it is at someone else's expense. The fact that Italians act in the program and are among its creators does not get you or the program off the hook any more than the fact that the actors in the old "Amos and Andy" series were black. And why did you not mention the ethnic background of the producers of the series or of the ownership of HBO? They are certainly not Italians.
At any rate, since you obviously do not find the "Sopranos" offensive, perhaps you could use your tribal connections to the media to promote my idea for another series about an ethnically-defined "Crime Family".
It could be called, ''The Shapiros" and the following could be its leading characters:
* The patriarch of the family Morris Shapiro, a slumlord whose tenants are mostly minority and who is also suspected of being the nation's largest launderer of Colombian drug money.
* Uncle Yitsak who runs a chain of sub standard nursing homes and is currently out on bail for dealingin child pornography.
* Eldest son Dr. Mortimer Shapiro who runs a Medicare mill and several dozen "bingo'' parlors in poor neighborhoods, the profits of which are used to finance illegal settlements on the West Bank.
* Cousin Irving Shapiro, a convicted insider trader who recently purchased a pardon from outgoing president Bill Clinton.
* Zviv Shapiro who languishes in a federal prison because he spied for Israel and his brother Lev, an Israeli General, who in addition to siphoning off millions from the six billion in aid the US gives Israel each year, was recently indicted for war crimes by a Belgian court for his role in the murder of 1600 Egyptian POW's during the Six Day War.
* Nephew Aaron who runs a "Tolerance" institute that has destroyed the careers and ruined financially numerous public figures who were critical of Israel and her American supporters.
* Family attorney, Seth Ginzburg, who, when he is not providing the family with legal loopholes for their nefarious activities, is bringing class action lawsuits on behalf of Holocaust survivors with contingency fees that have netted him tens of millions, whereas the actual individual plaintiff awards have usually amounted to a few thousand dollars at most.
* Rabbi Joshua Goldstein spiritual councilor to the family who is currently under indictment for having hired a hitman to kill his wife.
Then of course there are the Shapiro women:
* Bertha, the sister of Morris who wrote the new course of study for multiculturalism and diversity mandated for use in New York City public schools and who has also been linked to the world's largest white slavery network that traffics primarily in poor young women from the former Soviet Union;
* Tiffany her younger sister, who with her lesbian lover were the first same sex couple to adopt a child in New York;
* Daughter Beth and her Israeli husband, Yossi, who are the leading importers and distributors of the drug ecstasy into the United States;
* The voluptuous Cohen twins, Becky and Rachel, who allowed themselves to be taped by the Mossad during sexual trysts with the president and various congressional leaders for the purposes of political blackmail;
* Niece Sharon and her husband Herb Hymawitz, who as officers of the ACLU are actively lobbying for the passage of a federal hate crimes which would make, among other things, a series like "Shapiros'' illegal.    And no episode would be complete without a visit by one of the principle characters to family therapist and frequent "Oprah" guest, Dr. Sarah Sokoloff whose standard pattern of treatment calls for her to have sex with her patients.


This Site Served by TheHostPros