‘Sopranos’ Clip Showing ‘Woke’ Scene Resurfaces

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A clip from classic TV show The Sopranos that tackles an issue that would be described as “woke” today has resurfaced on social media.

Regularly listed among the greatest TV shows of all time, HBO’s The Sopranos followed the story of mafia boss Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini, who struggled to balance his family life with his criminal activities and, as a result, sought professional counseling.

The show, which emerged in 1999, remained hugely popular during its six seasons on the air, before coming to an end in June 2007. In the almost two decades since the show ended, it remains a much-talked-about and highly revered series.

With The Sopranos having marked its 25th anniversary on January 10, the enduringly popular show has been discussed by fans all the more this month.

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” in 2001. A clip from the classic show has resurfaced on social media.
HBO/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A clip from the third season was shared this week on X, formerly Twitter, that showed Soprano smoking a cigar in bed, as he and a woman with whom he is having an affair—Gloria Trillo, played by Annabella Sciorra— talk about their lives.

Trillo is shown discussing her niece and nephew, who “go to this ‘alternative’ private, elementary school in Santa Monica [California] where it’s all about the children’s self esteem.”

“Yeah, I hate that s***,” Soprano responds as they relax in a hotel room.

Trillo continues: “So, I happen to ask Hannah, she’s in the third grade, ‘Are you gonna be in the Christmas play?’ She says, ‘We don’t call it the Christmas play, we call it the Winter Festival.’

“So I was like, ‘Whatever.’ I don’t say anything, and then Shamus says, ‘We’re not allowed to call it Christmas, we call Christmas ‘the C word,’ and I f****** flipped out.”

A clip of the Christmas part of the discussion was shared alongside the caption: “The Sopranos was fighting woke before woke was woke 😆 Ahead of its time. Greatest show.”

“Woke” is defined as being alert to social inequities, particularly racism. In recent years, it has encompassed so-called “cancel culture,” diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Critics say woke views and cancel culture have been a dominant and destructive force globally in academia, the media, entertainment, business and political worlds in recent years.

Meanwhile, The Sopranos‘ milestone anniversary has been celebrated for much of the month. Among the numerous initiatives to mark the milestone is streamer Max debuting deleted footage on the platform, as well as bringing back some scenes that had been shown before being locked away in the vault.

HBO has also launched an official Sopranos TikTok account, which features the Sopranos in :25 series. It comprises condensed 25-second recaps of all of the show’s 86 episodes.

The celebration of The Sopranos‘ 25th anniversary has also included such events as cast reunions, pop-up dining experiences, and special podcast episodes.

Zach Enterlin, executive VP of brand, content and creative of streaming marketing for HBO and Max, said in a statement: “The Sopranos left an indelible imprint on the global entertainment culture and was instrumental in defining HBO as the destination for groundbreaking, award-winning programming.

“The many ways we will honor this 25-year milestone will allow fans to celebrate the Soprano legacy and pay tribute to the characters that have had such an enduring impact.”