Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“10 Things I Hate About You”, “Inception”, “Looper”) has become the target of the Italian American One Voice Coalition for “promoting racist stereotypes”, according to THR.
The actor-director plays a pornography-addicted “Jersey Shore” type character in the film, which has attracted the attention of the organization for allegedly “stereotyping and denigrating” both Italian-Americans and Jews in its character portrayals.
In a press release on Monday, the Italian American One Voice Coalition notes that Gordon-Levitt’s parents were the founding members of a Jewish national social justice organization.
“Here we go again with the same shop-worn, racist stereotypes of Italian Americans in movies,” said organization founder Dr. Emanuele “Manny” Alfano. “It never ends. Levitt, himself the son of proud parents who once founded the Jewish Progressive Alliance and fought for social justice causes, should be ashamed of himself for the negative portrayal of Italians and Jews in his movie.”
“Don Jon” premiered at the Sundance film festival earlier this year, but was released theatrically on Friday. The film stars Gordon-Levitt as the misogynistic, porn-loving Jon Martello, with Scarlett Johansson playing his love interest, a big-haired “Jerseylicious” female named Barbara Sugarman. Tony Danza and Glenne Headly star as Martello’s parents.
“Levitt, much like his pornography-addicted character, needs an intervention and should go into serious therapy for his ethnic denigration of Italian Americans,” said Alfano. “Levitt ought to quit now, take this trite garbage out of movie theaters and donate his profits to charity.”