Upcoming free-roam action game Mafia II has been getting its fair share of controversy lately, but it doesn't stop there. UNICO National, an Italian American service organization in the United States with the aim of promoting and enhancing the Italian-American community, have decided to challenge publisher Take-Two Interactive regarding the portrayal of their people in Mafia II.
UNICO president Andre' DiMino called the game a "pile of racist nonsense" and openly attacked Take-Two, saying they're "directly, blatantly and unfairly discriminating and demeaning one group to the exclusion of all others. We are demanding they halt release of the game and cleanse it of all references to Italians and Italian-Americans."
He also sent a letter to Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick requesting a meeting and advising against using Italians and Italian-Americans in Mafia games, because it furthers the "denigrating stereotype of organized crime being the exclusive domain of Italians and Italian-Americans."
Zelnick responded to UNICO, telling them that the Italian-American gangster genre is "a subject that for decades has been featured in movies, television shows and novels. Neither UNICO nor any other organization purporting to represent Italian-Americans has seen or played Mafia II."
Take-Two refused to give in to UNICO's demands. Zelnick concluded saying that he "fully and completely stands behind their creative teams and products, including Mafia II."