Strauss Zelnick, the Chairman of Take-Two, has responded to UNICO's accusations of racism in Mafia II and their demands that the game be blocked from release. Here is his official statement:
"Mafia II tells a compelling story about organized crime in America - 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.
At Take-Two, we balance our right to free expression with what we believe is a thoughtful and responsible approach to creating and marketing our products.
Mafia II is M-rated in accordance with our industry's strict standards. It is specifically not targeted toward young people.
We will only release a title that meets our standards: as art, as entertainment and as a socially responsible product. We aim to distinguish creative and compelling story telling that advances artistic expression from subject matter that gratuitously exploits or glorifies violence or stereotypes. I fully and completely stand behind our creative teams and products, including Mafia II."
There you have it. Do you think this will placate UNICO? (My guess is no.)