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Bloomberg Marches in Bronx Parade

October 14, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg marched with local officials Sunday in the Bronx, a day before the city's main Columbus Day parade, which he planned to sit out because organizers would not allow him to walk with two cast members from "The Sopranos."

"It's great to be in the Bronx and it's great to be at a parade where you can march with all your friends," Bloomberg said.

Organizers of today's parade in Manhattan say the hit HBO show about a crime family perpetuates negative stereotypes of Italian Americans.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation had sought a federal court order banning Bloomberg from bringing Dominic Chianese and Lorraine Bracco to the annual celebration. Chianese plays a New Jersey mob boss; Bracco plays a psychiatrist treating a mobster.

After both sides agreed that organizers had the right to invite or not invite anyone to their parade, the judge said he had nothing to rule on.

Foundation Vice President Frank Fusaro said the group still wants Bloomberg to march -- by himself. But the mayor said he instead would have lunch with the actors today.

"Everybody should lighten up a little," Bloomberg said.

Donna Inzano of the Bronx agreed: "It's a TV series. They're not really in the mob. They're only actors."

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