Chicago Italians Face-Off With ‘Mob Wives’

VH1’s “Mob Wives Chicago” is getting the cold shoulder from Italian American community leaders — and any restaurant that allows the show to film there had better expect protests, says Louis Rago and the Italian-American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago.

“Our organization fights stereotypes through the performing arts,” Rago says.

Rich Mazzullo, owner of Baciami! Restaurant and Bar, probably didn’t get the heads-up. Last month, Mob Wives Chicago filmed an episode at Mazzullo’s restaurant and he’s been getting grief ever since.

Rago is launching a formal protest against Mazzullo because, he says, it hurts even more when Italian Americans buy into the mob culture stereotypes.

Mazzullo is not backing down, however.  “If people don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

Rago is going full steam ahead: Mazzullo’s “name is going to be placed on a list, and members will begin phoning the restaurant to tell him how unhappy we are about what he’s done,” he said. There will also be sit-ins.

Rago has been fighting the “Mob Wives Chicago” production since December. Several restaurants have refused to allow the crew to tape episodes, including Gene & Georgetti’s steakhouse in Chicago. Restaurant owners Alex Dana, Phil Stefani and Joey DiBuono also said then they would not participate in the show, reported Chicago celebrity columnist Stella Foster.

“Mob Wives Chicago” follows five women who were romantically involved with reputed Chicago mob members.

Zondra Hughes

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

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