The Day Cianci Faced Down The Sopranos

In January of 2000, then Mayor Buddy Cianci refused an invitation from the producers of the acclaimed HBO series ‘The Sopranos.’ The producers thought he might like to participate in a local screening of the season premiere and wanted to buy jars of his marinara sauce to give away at the event.

Deeply offended at the mere suggestion that Italian-Americans might have any connection with organized crime, Cianci responded in the negative, causing the show to take a complete pass on Providence and spend their money in other cities. (Presumably Matthew Weiner learned what residents of Providence have known for years; in real life, goons like Cianci are never as charming as James Gandolfini.) So Cianci took a principled stand. According to the an AP report.

``To offer my marinara for sale to `The Sopranos’ would be too high a price to pay, even while adding to my scholarship fund for our Providence students,” Cianci, who appeared in a first-season episode of NBC’s sentimental show “Providence,” wrote to HBO.

“To accept would be to compromise the pride I have for my heritage, my ethnic background and my strong beliefs that bias against any individual or group is morally wrong.”

Amazing he could make this statement with a straight face. He had after all already been forced from office once on a felony conviction for assault and assault with a deadly weapon, an episode he continually described as a family matter. Attention Mr. Cianci, most families don’t resolve their disputes with fireplace logs and ashtrays. In all fairness, the man still asserts,

no one ever urinated on anybody.

So the bar’s pretty low. We also know that by 2000 the second Cianci administration was mired in graft and corruption and that the mayor was running city hall as a criminal enterprise. Within a couple of years he was convicted, lost an appeal, and was off to federal prison for 4.5 years.

And that pasta sauce for the scholarship fund? That’s a fraud.

Yes, thank god we have Buddy Cianci upholding the image of law-abiding Italian-Americans everywhere.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose