With his role on the most important TV drama in the history of the medium wrapped and nothing to look forward to but months of frustrating phonecalls in which his agents begs him to do "just one more leather daddy mobster part, for old time's sake. Ya gotta eat!," one can hardly blame former Sopranos star Joseph "Gay Vito" Gannascoli for trying to pick up some money on the side by capitalizing on his iconic character. GLAAD, however, isn't too happy about a product he's chosen to endorse: the "Cue To Die For" pool stick, a must-have memento for any fan who wants to relive Vito's fatal bludgeoning and sodomy each time he chalks up before a tough shot. Reports TV Week:
"GLAAD is calling on Rockwell Billiards and Gannascoli to remove the name, 'A Cue to Die For,' from this product immediately and apologize for using such a vulgar symbol of violence and anti-gay bigotry to make a profit," read the GLADD statement.
The "to Die For" slogan has been used for other, less sensational Gannascoli-endorsed products. His mobster novel is called "A Meal to Die For" and he will soon have a cigar lined branded with "A Cigar to Die For," according to his Web site.
Indeed, Gannascoli probably should have limited his "To Die For" line of merchandise to items with which his character was never brutally sodomized by his intolerant crew—no one would have protested a cheap cigar or a bad novel. We expect that the actor will succumb to GLAAD's pressure and soon withdraw his name from the instrument of his hate-crime demise, with the unfortunate incident serving as an example to other castmates looking to cash in by crassly exploiting their big Sopranos moments; given the reactionary climate of restraint in endorsements, Vito Jr.'s Shower Stool Softener will likely never reach the shelves of your local Rite Aid or CVS, and the Big Pussy chain of gentlemen's clubs featuring plus-size performers will probably never open its doors.
UPDATE: Predictably, the cues have been discontinued.
- 'Sopranos' + Hate Crime + Pool Cue = Marketing Opportunity [TV Week]
- Joe Gannascoli "Vito" Signature Cue [Rockwell Billiards]