MTV is once again stirring up controversy with the debut of their new show – Jersey Shore. The show, which follows a group of 20 something year old Italians as they live and work on the Garden State’s shoreline, has been criticized by some Italian American groups as being offensive and reinforcing stereotypes of Italian-Americans.
UNICO National — the “Largest Italian American Service Organization in the USA” — claims they “can’t keep up with the volume of calls ” from “outraged” Italian Americans. They added that it should be pulled from the air. The backlash doesn’t end there, as advertisers – Domino’s and American Family Insurance have requested that their ads be pulled from the show.
MTV however continues to stand by the show. “We understand that this show is not intended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture,” MTV’s spokesman told Fox News on Tuesday. “Our intention was never to stereotype, discriminate or offend.”
The cast of Jersey Shore can be seen continuously referring to themselves as “Guidos” and “Guidettes” on the show. Both terms have long been found to be offensive to Italians.
One of the cast members, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, however defends the use of the term ‘Guido.’ “The older generation doesn’t understand. These days in New York and New Jersey a ‘guido’ is a good-looking Italian male that likes to have fun and a ‘guidette’ is a good-looking Italian girl,” Mike tells EW.com.
I actually saw the premier episode of this show and was a bit surprised to see the term “Guido,” be used so frequently by the cast. Always assumed the term was offensive. Other than that, the show pretty much fell in line with all the other MTV reality shows, such as the Real World. It was pretty much the same formula – follow a group of 20 something year olds as they get drunk, and make complete asses of themselves on national television. It’s likely the show is here to stay as it premiered to rather good ratings, the premier episode was seem by a total of 1.4 million viewers.
TELL US – HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHOW? DID YOU FIND IT TO BE OFFENSIVE?
Angelina Pivarnick aka Jolie, 22 – Staten Island, NY
If Angelina has something on her mind, it’ll be out of her mouth before you know it. She always has something to say and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
Jenni Farley aka J-WOWW, 23 – Franklin Square, NY
When Jenni walks into a bar, the guys yell “J-WOWW!” She may have a boyfriend, but down at the Jersey Shore all bets are off. Impulsive and spontaneous, Jenni is a party girl with zero self control.
Mike Sorrentino aka The Situation, 27 – Staten Island, NY
Mike may have a sensitive side, but he has plenty of game to go with it. He knows what he wants from his summer at the Jersey Shore and is not going to let anything stop him from getting it–even his roommates.
Nicole Polizzi aka Snooki, 21 – Marlboro, NY
Nicole is looking to meet the man of her dreams. When she goes to the gym, she goes in full makeup, hoping to make a splash with all the toned men. Her height has been as much of a strength as it has been an obstacle, and it will color her summer at the Shore in a big way.
DJ Pauly D DelVecchio, 28 – Johnston, RI
Pauly D is Rhode Island’s most well known DJ and keeps a tanning bed in his house. He orders gel by the case and does his hair twice a day–once in the morning and once before hitting the town.
Ronnie Magro, 23 – Bronx, NY
Ronnie might find himself in a brawl or two, but he is a lover who just wants to have a good time. He comes into the house with one rule: Don’t fall in love at the Jersey Shore. But as the summer goes on, he finds rules are meant to be broken.
Sammi Giancola aka Sweetheart, 22 – Hazlet, NJ
Sammi has been a serial dater all her life, but she’s now single and loves every minute of it. Her friends call her a sweetheart, but when it comes to guys she is a heartbreaker.
Vinny Guadagnino, 21 – Staten Island, NY
Vinny is a self-confessed mama’s boy and natural entertainer. He knows how to get a laugh from everyone he meets. Having just turned 21, Vinny has been waiting for this summer his whole life and is ready for a wild time with no boundaries.