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?