December 11, 2009, - 12:16 am

Is MTV’s “Jersey Shore” Anti-Italian?: Where is MTV’s “Dearbornistan Jihad” Show?

By Debbie Schlussel

Though I’m not Italian, I can understand why Italian-American groups are offended by MTV’s new show, “Jersey Shore,” a “reality” show featuring the worst stereotypes (other than Mafiosi) against America’s Italians.

Trust me, MTV will never ever have the guts to do “Dearbornistan Street”–or more accurately, “Dearbornistan Jihad”–about Muslim kids in Dearborn who openly support terrorist groups.  Because that would be “stereotyping and bigotry.”  And the world would be up in arms about it.  The casting notice for “Jersey Shore” sought “loud, proud Italians” and “guidos and guidettes” to audition for the show.

Can you imagine anyone ever having the guts to audition “violent, America-hating Muslims” and “jihadis and jihadas” for a show?  Not a chance, even though it would be more accurate in portraying America’s (and everywhere else’s) followers of the “Religion of Peace” than the other description does in describing Italian-Americans.

But having Italians portrayed as “guidos” and excessively hair-gelled goons,  garish, vulgar idiots, and skanks . . . well, that’s A-OK for Viacom (MTV’s parent company).  (The Salt Lake Tribune’s Vince Horiuchi has the best summary and critique I’ve read on the show. Another good analysis is by Entertainment Weekly’s Mike Bruno.)  There’s absolutely no value in this show, and you have to be a complete moron to find it entertaining.  Sadly, morons tend to gravitate to MTV’s audience demo.

I would be offended if MTV did a show about a carefully picked and extremely skewed cast of Jews from a loud, wealthy area of Long Island or even just the staff meetings of the far-left, self-hating “Heeb Magazine.”  Those people don’t represent me or resemble the Jews I know and hang out with.  And I had a hard enough time dealing with the anti-Semitism many Long Islanders bred when I was in college at the University of Michigan and in grad school at the University of Wisconsin.

Back in the day, we had a name for this crap: minstrel shows.

So, I feel for my many Italian friends.  Though anti-Semitism is infinitely more poisonous and rampant (no-one ever cooked millions of people in ovens for having vowels at the end of their surnames), for many years they’ve  had to put up with stereotypes that their family members were in the mob and other stereotypes.  And, yet, the Italians I grew up with were very assimilated average Americans who resembled no-one in “The Godfather” or “The Sopranos” and no-one on “Jersey Shore,” either.  Their parents were executives and professionals.

“Jersey Shore” would be a different story in a world where everyone was fair game.  Then, we could have a sense of humor about it all.  But the problem is we’re only allowed to have a “sense of humor” about some groups and not about others.  While Italians, Jews, and a few other White ethnic groups are easy pickin’s, that’s not the case for others.  Mocking, denigrating, and portraying them in a bad light is completely acceptable in a way that would never be tolerated about Blacks, Muslims, Arabs, and select other ethnicities protected by the orthodoxy of political correctness.

It’s as if MTV has adopted BET’s immunity.  The Black cable network mocks White people 24/7.  But don’t do the same to Black people on, say, MTV.  Or the race card will be played like there’s no tomorrow by BET “elder statesmen” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

So, why is it okay to do a show laser-focused on a few stupid 20-somethings who are the teenage version of every character Ray Liotta and Joe Pesce have ever played, minus the Cosa Nostra?  And why pretend it’s something different, called “Jersey Shore”?  Why not be honest about it and call it “Jersey Goombas”?  The only thing missing from the show is Joe Piscopo, probably because he would add a massive dose of class to it.  That should tell you how bad–and sad–this stupid show is.

I hope other advertisers, aside from Domino’s Pizza which canceled its ad campaign on the show, have the guts to say no to this hypocrisy and double standards in targeting certain ethnicities for shame and degradation and not others.

I often paraphrase George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” in cases like these.  When it comes to the entertainment industry’s portrayal of ethnic groups, all of the animals in the barnyard are “equal.”  But some are more equal than others.

Not only won’t you see a show called “Dearbornistan Street” on MTV, you’ll never see “Ghetto Alley,” either.

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50 Responses

Deb, I’ve been waiting for you to review this and I must say I disagree with some of what you said. I grew up with people like those on this show. Believe me these “Guido’s” on the Jersey Shore brought back the worst memories from my childhood. However, it’s sad to say it’s more accurate than you think. Especially in some parts of NY and NJ If you doubt it come to Brooklyn in the summer time and see what the 18th, 20th avenue feasts are like. Or just go and visit Staten Island. For the record I know not all Italians are like this. But you’re right they would never do this kind of show with Muslims” and “jihadis and jihadas”. Yeah this was part of my childhood experience sorry to say.

One Irish Jew on December 11, 2009 at 12:56 am

I have to suffer at home since my 18 year old sister watches this crap on the Big screen TV as well as other crappy shows on that network as well as VH1 (for the love of Ray J, Sex Rehab). I missed the good old days when MTV had funny shows like “Beavis and Butthead” and “Daria”.

Matthew on December 11, 2009 at 1:05 am

It’s always been okay to laugh at whites. No serious public outcry for networks to fear like Jesse Jacksons boycott express.

Joe on December 11, 2009 at 1:07 am

Irish Jew talking about “people like this” and your “worst memories”? Well, let me tell ya, I grew up in irish neighborhoods in Philly and you people are truly the worst trash alive. At least Italians have lots of redeeming qualities, not to mention the gift of the finest food, art, fashion, robotics, plastics, engineering and sports cars to the rest of the world. What do you Irish have – whiskey, infighting and your new “tigers” in Ireland?

Glass houses and all, you know.

DS_ROCKS! on December 11, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Wow. So are you auditioning for the job of Debbie’s fluffer? While we’re throwing jabs at Arabs, why not stereotype blondes while were at it… Jewish blondes or not? This blonde bimbo Debbie has no idea what she’s talking about and I’ll cosign all the comments which point out the flaws in her logic. Her entire argument is built upon shaky or false premises. Get a clue.

    Jeff on December 12, 2009 at 2:17 am

Italian food is nasty.

Fashion is worthless and unnecessary (regardless who makes it).

I think Japan has you on robotics. But I’ll give you art.

As for the Irish, well, we saved civilization. There’s even a book about it.
http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Saved-Civilization-Hinges-History/dp/0385418493/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260513303&sr=8-1

:-D

Matt on December 11, 2009 at 1:38 am

Debbie,

You’ve got to be kidding me. Want to see a modern minstrel show? Turn on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, VH1′s Flava of Love, Diary of a Mad Black Women, etc, etc. The list is unending of the “Step n’ Fetchit” minstraly schlock that portrays African Americans in the worst light. Ever seen a booty shacking hip-hop video?

How are Asians depicted on TV and movies? Awkward bowl haired nerd or karate chopping ninjas! Arabs anyone? When was the last time you saw an Arab professional on a show? Almost every Arab depiction is a 24esk urban terror cell.

Debbie, you are not being very honest here.

Michael on December 11, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Mike is dead on correct-
    The African American community is totally blind to their own explotation and even holds these exploited characters up in high esteem. I have been saying for years – If a “writer” created a “fictional character” that acted and portrayed themselves like: Flavor Flav (hands down the craziest exploitation of uncivilized black culture- eating fried chicken while talking, mispelling every word, speaking in ebonics, wearing zoot suits, ridiculous jewelry ie a gigantic clock, pouring champagne all the time, carrying a jewelry covered pimp stick and a chalace etc… ), Mrs New York (100% crazy – and claims to have graduated Syracuse University?) , Ray J, and the “suitors” seeking their affection then Jessie,Al and the black community would be outraged. However, since these are real African American people portrayed “in reality” which have been described by some in the black community as “coon acts” to speak out would only be speaking out against their own. There is only outrage if you can attach a white writer to the characters.

    I give Italians some credit for having the guts to speak out about their own people – African Americans never call out there own for “racist” behavior – like their use of the N’word towards each other but are so outraged when a non black says the word. Fix yourselves first – other races will follow your lead. Instead other races must try to ignore the way they act or treat each other and be held to a much higher hypocritical standard.

    Lancaster on December 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm

ayyyyyyyyyyy chappy !! Don’t start baggin’ on all us micks now….we gave ye the blarney the whimsey which feeds and nourishes the soul….far better than any Ferrari could ever do !

Shiver me timbers !

mrbshamrock on December 11, 2009 at 2:12 am

    yeah! leave the irish alone. if it wasnt for the irish, there would be no such thing as the railroad. because the american settlers were too lazy to build it themselves. and if the people on jersey shore wanna do that show then who cares. let them make a bunch of money and do it.

    Patrick on December 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm

I just love how Debbie can turn any topic into an anti-muslim rant. Thanks, Debbie.

Your Mom on December 11, 2009 at 2:22 am

I am sending Debbie a email on this-you people DO NOT UNDERSTAND the youth are watching what mtv/vh1 etc puts up as entertainment.

vh1 and mtv are demonic.

lindapolver on December 11, 2009 at 5:13 am

One can argue whether this show about these living, breathing stereotypes is anti-Italian.

It is, however, perniciously stupid — and I find that significantly more offensive.

Rhymes With Right on December 11, 2009 at 6:36 am

MTV and VH-1 are among the MANY REASONS why groups like the Parents Television Council want CABLE CHOICE, where subscribers pick and choose their own channels to watch, not have a package forced upon them where all the garbage can be found.

And of course broadcast TV is no safer either…

Need I remind you of…

The Court Shows
Maury (where everyday is a chance to bash men)
Jerry Springer
Steve Wilkos

The last three mentioned are now filming in Stamford, CT, not too far from my house—UGH!

As far as this Jersey Shore crap…I WON’T WATCH IT BECAUSE IT’S MTV AND AS SOMEONE OF ITALIAN DISSENT I GET VERY IRRITATED AT THE USE OF THE WORD GUIDO! Though there are some in the Italian American community who deserve to be called jerks…

Like Leo DiCaprio for example and his support of the phoniness that is global warming.

As for me, I am AMERICAN-ITALIAN! Just letting those who believe in the dash know I just turned it on your head!

Bob Porrazzo on December 11, 2009 at 6:38 am

Debbie is spot-on calling this crap a “minstrel show”, though. The friendly, backwards, Italian organ-grinder stereotype has been replaced by this one.

DS_ROCKS! on December 11, 2009 at 7:18 am

The larger point here isn’t about the phony stereotypes of Italians here by MTV. It’s MTV itself. Just about every so-called MTV “reality” show in the last twenty years is PC and fake. Starting with the Real World back in the early nineties. Every show MTV has put on the air rings hollow and unreal. When the Real World actually had someone (Puck) who was obnoxious and offensive and REAL he was voted off. Tia Tequlla is another example. She and her phony Lesbianism are about as real as a three dollar biil. This, and the lack of any good music is the reason I have long stopped watching the offensive and pretentious BS on MTV. YO MTV Raps was the nail in the coffin. MTV stopped being relivant many years ago. Remember that the target demographic of MTV is the 12-21 year old. Not exactley the most mature and deepest thinking age group. In acutality, MTV has replaced the cartoon in the pre-teen and early teen group if one thinks about it critcally.

rich b on December 11, 2009 at 7:45 am

I stopped watching MTV when they took Headbangers Ball off the air. However I do indulge in VH1 Classic for the 80′s hair band videos that I grew up with.

Swede on December 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

I have to disagree with you on this. I don’t think every depiction of every group has to be positive. We live in a RAW world. So many people are trash. Just not worthy of the air they breathe. In California you have so many douche bags and their bimbo chicks that it goes without protest when those shows are portrayed. When the show the ‘The Real Wives of the OC’ premiered there were parents in Orange County who protested. I never thought all Orange County wives were desperate, horny, self absorbed cougars with breast implants.

As for “guidos”, I had an experience with this crowd. I was in Ft.Lauderdale a few years back. Well these “guidos” roamed the beaches of during the winter months when it was too cold in NY and NJ. I never took away that all Italians are juice heads, but it was not like the beaches of California. The California beach crowd is laid back.

The Discovery Channel had a show about gangs in Oakland, CA and was roundly protested by Hispanics and Black groups. They said it portrayed the worst stereotypes. I am Hispanic and those gang images are sadly true. One reason I hate liberalism. It is will completely put Hispanics on the plantation mentality like they have done with Blacks. The reality is most people aren’t in gangs, however to deny that these stereotypes don’t exist only protects these scumbags from being vilified. In order for a problem to be solved the problem has to be honestly talked about. For those who want to deny the problems existing is only allowing the problem to grow and gain power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPwOTqkZvwM&feature=related

CS: No-one said every depiction of every ethnic group has to be positive. I don’t endorse political correctness. But as long as some groups are completely off the table, there is no reason to make it open season only on other groups. Thus, my statement:

“Jersey Shore” would be a different story in a world where everyone was fair game. Then, we could have a sense of humor about it all. But the problem is we’re only allowed to have a “sense of humor” about some groups and not about others.

DS

CaliforniaScreaming on December 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

Thankfully, I’m not sure where MTV is on DirecTV. I don’t go looking for it either.

John Hamer on December 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

Maybe that explains why it seems that, lately, every episode of gangland is about white gangs.
If you want a flattering expose on black gangs check out BET. Inmates at my prison were grouped around the t.v. like it was some blockbuster movie on for the first time. Yes they were allowed to watch that crap. Why does the state pay for CABLE T.V.? Or have a prisoner benevolent fund to pay for cool stuff all the time. Call your governors office and while you’re at it ask them why pay prisoners for doing work as well. Sorry for going off topic, again.

Joe on December 11, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I saw a show on BET that glorified PIMPS – and I remember Burger King had on of the ads running during a commericial break. I could not believe it !!! At least it was on at 1 AM.

    Lancaster on December 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Hey CaliforniaScreaming, I agree with just about everything you said. I live in San Pedro,CA., which is the L.A. Harbor area and spent have many summer days on the local beaches as a young man. That’s Long Beach, Torrance Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach. And yeah, for the most part the people here are laid back.

My point is/was in my post that most, if not all of the so-called reality shows on MTV are heavily scripted and are about as near to reality as the Earth is to the Sun. That said, MTV and its target demographic are being spoon-fed a sh**load of phony stereotypes and PC BS. Most critically thinking people will see through the fake MTV shows. But, a large segment of MTV’s demographic, being young and impressionable are gonna buy into it. And that’s the ultimate tragedy.

BTW, San Pedro,CA., where I live, has the largest Italian-American population on the Left Coast and I have never met nitwits such as the jerks portrayed on MTV and Growing Up Gotti living here. I’m sure the Guidos exist but not in the phony proportions that MTV would have one believe.

rich b on December 11, 2009 at 10:30 am

DS_ROCKS!, The only reason the Irish fight among themselves is no one else is worthy. Van Morrison, U2 did a lot for music. ( even if you’re not a fan) Both are Irish.

ceannrua on December 11, 2009 at 10:56 am

theres millions of these kids in the tri state area, maybe they should put a disclaimer up that this is not all italians, but this is the way it is

they made boys in the hood, (not black kids in college)

the show should air but italians are usualy shown as mobsters ,jews are shown as $$ making weasals or nerds, blacks are usualy shown as victims of the man

thats tv/cinema

drew299 on December 11, 2009 at 11:31 am

I can’t wait for Sharpton and his ilk to scream RACISM because none of the shows morons are black.

Jarhead on December 11, 2009 at 11:34 am

What morons showed up for the audition?
Please do not confuse Italian-Americans with Italians!!!Different culture.

Smudge on December 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Ms. Schlussel, I believe you and some of your fans suffer from “selective perception”. If you were to actually watch the line-up of “reality shows on BET and VH-1, they actually seem to portray Black people in a very negative light. (“Flava of Love” come to mind? Or how about College Hill on BET?). I also seem to remember it was BLACK people who were for years protesting the negative images of Blacks on BET, so I have no idea where you are getting this thing about BET mocking White people 24/7. Much of BET’s programming has always been a mockery of Black people in the name of humor. I also seem to remember most of the Black characters in HBO’s “The Wire” were either drug dealers, junkies, or corrupt city officials. Excellent show, but so much for political correctness. And the popular movie now among the artsy fartsy crowd is “Precious” which revels in dysfunctional Black family stereotypes and despair. Or maybe you haven’t seen the minstrelsy and coonin’ around in such trifling vehicles such as “Soul Plane”, “I Love New York” much of modern day Hip-Hop, “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, and the list could go on and on.

But I guess my main question is….why did you feel the need to attack Black people on this issue? Yelping yet again about Sharpton and Jackson has gotten old and played out. And what in the world have Black people got to do with the portrayal of Italian-Americans on “Jersey Shore”???

Ms. Teek on December 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I ageee with you about the portrayal of blacks in reality TV – but is it took one episode of a show for the Italian community to speak out about there own people being portrayed poorly by a selected group of guido/guideete social misfits- but the African American community treats these coon acts as celebrities and have never voiced any concern over how they are portrayed.

    Do Real and Chance, Flavor Flav, Mrs New York, Ray J. ATL Housewives, Puff Daddy’s bands and the supporting African American reality personalities- “Really” display how black people want to be portrayed in a “Reality” portrayal?

    Where are the leaders of the African American communty? They are on the Red Carpets honoring these idiots. They are watching white teenagers laugh at them season after season of renewals of these coon acts and with producers thinking of how they can give us more. The producers take the craziest supporting characters and spin them off into another “exploitation”. Why? because no one sees a problem – as long as these idiots get paid to act like fools in the name of “keepin it real”. But what no one will admit to is that they are all being “scripted/exploited” and loaded up with alchohol so as to act as stupid and outrageous as possible. Thanks for the laughs… reality morons. I can’t wait until your portrayals of yourselves finally catches up to you. So far I recall a girl from Making the Band arrested for a violent assault and girl from Ray J was committed to a mental hospital. I am sure the future will not be to good for these rejectts and for what? A small reality paycheck and a chance to embarrass yourself for life. I predict there will be a lot of bad times ahead for these characters.

    Lancaster on December 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm

      Wrong. Blacks have been criticizing the depiction of blacks on television and in movies for decades. It is just that when blacks do, “conservatives” like Schlussel castigate them for political correctness, race hustling, and desperately trying to avoid the “real issues in the black community”, which conservatives helpfully identify for blacks as crime, illegitimacy, and welfare dependency. (Not that these conservatives ever actually do anything to HELP or CONTRIBUTE to the solving of these problems, mind you. Instead, they just want everyone to sit around talking about how horrible black crime, illegitimacy and welfare are. Now when someone actually does something to address these ills and a movie is made about it, “conservatives” like Schlussel attack them, as her review of “The Blind Side” illustrates.)

      But when the NAACP and Jesse Jackson attempted to address how blacks were portrayed in TV and movies about 10 years ago, conservatives shredded them. Spike Lee actually made a movie about the issue (Bamboozled). And incidentally, you should know that black leaders hated rap music and did their best to stop it from being produced and listened to. For years, most black radio stations wouldn’t play the stuff, and MTV initially played far more rap music than BET did. Or have you forgotten how C. Dolores Tucker teamed up with Bill Bennett in the 1990s to attack rap music and videos, and even filed a lawsuit against Tupac Shakur?

      Once again, this is one of the many areas where conservative discourse falls far short of the truth. And one of the bigger ironies is that gangsta rappers draw a lot of the inspiration for their songs from the Mafia movies. Their songs are full of references to the Mafia (learned from such movies) and they even name themselves after Mafia figures (i.e. Irv Gotti). So, you have black negative images in the media that feed off negative Italian images, and this despite the fact that large numbers of blacks and Italians in New York and New Jersey (where most rap music is made, or at least was) can’t stand each other. Life is indeed stranger than fiction.

      Gerald Ball on December 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm

        Gerald- they have complained about fictional portrayals – but have not spoken about reality TV because these are real people acting as themsleves.

        Lancaster on December 11, 2009 at 11:40 pm

          Wrong again. Plenty of blacks hated “College Hill” and complained to BET about it. The same was true about “The Color of Love.” Further, the depiction of blacks in reality shows in general has been criticized and protested by blacks who do such things. This was especially the case in the early days of the genre when (thanks in no small part to the casting and editing) blacks in reality TV tended to appear very stereotypical and negative i.e. the lazy black males and the angry pushy black females on the first iterations of “Survivor.”

          The thing is that it never took any traction. Such complaints by black activists don’t get the favorable hearing in the mainstream media that they used to. Part of the reason is that the black community is so divided on the issue. Unlike in times past, it is impossible to claim that there is any monolithic (or “correct”) black opinion on the issue.

          Of course, conservatives could have long used the lack of a monolithic black opinion on a ton of issues to their political advantage. Sadly, so many conservatives are like Schlussel, who find bashing and attacking black people at every opportunity (and the “liberal” white people who don’t see the need to join them, please recall Schlussel’s panning “The Blind Side”) much more fun.

          Gerald Ball on December 12, 2009 at 12:20 am

        Thank you, for obliviously doing more research than Schlussel did with this piece.She has a very narrow perspective on the issues.Quite honestly, people all over America are fed up with these types of shows.The black community constantly talks about this unattractive thug-like mentality that is portrayed. I go to a predominately black church and this is constantly on the docket. Men and woman shake their heads at this type of behavior and don’t allow their kids to watch it. Those so call groups (insert race right here) people do not, do not, speak for the people I know. On a side note, we seriously have to get over this whole “race”,”ethnicity”, “creed”,”nationality” or whatever. We need to start standing up for one another when we clearly see something wrong with the program. In fact the Jersey Shore had a horrible portrayal of a Jewish woman on the show .They made her out to be a stalker on the show because she wanted to save herself for marriage.

        Anne on July 14, 2010 at 2:32 am

Jersey shore is a must watch. It’s quite simply entertainment gold! The Guidos are complete tools and douchebags but who cares… they are funny as hell. You will literally laugh your ass off the entire show at these fools.

Plus, there is one Guidette who is super hot. Sammi “sweetheart.” Check this chick out. Cute face, tight little body, soccer player legs, nasaly Staten Island accent. What’s not to love. This girl makes me want to lovingly donate my DNA to a willing Guidette. Where can I find one???

Jeff on December 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm

MTV really is crap. They have become one of the worst tv networks out there. People have become so numb over what they allow their childern to watch like shows such as “Jersey Shore” which allows people to witness a female getting struck point blank in the face by a man. It does not make it ok that the girl condones them to show it. This is not reality tv, this is disgusting tv. We draw the line where wide broadcasting becomes nothing but offensive. MTV does not. Everyone that works there from the janitors, to the web designers, to the wirters/producers (might as well count them as one job) are disgusting. MTV has changed and it sadly, reflects the majority of its viewers. I do blame MTV its employees and affiliates, however, I also blame you all.

oscar david villanueva on December 12, 2009 at 3:34 am

    While I agree with you for the most part Debbie, I have to say that I don’t think a show negatively portraying Jews would really be tolerated, either. Anti-semitism is a known and well-enforced taboo in this country. People are very careful, on a public level, not to take part in it.

    klm on December 16, 2009 at 1:59 am

I called my cable company and told the customer service representative to remove Viacom-owned MTV from my account. MTV is airing a new Real World series entitled “Real World Jersey Shore.” The promo for the show has the narrator billing the cast as “Some of the hottest, tannest, craziest Guidos.” This stereotype of Italian-Americans, unfortunately, does not surprise me since I’ve seen this depiction many times. I’m sure you are familiar with what I mean: Italian-Americans as ignorant Mafioso types. MTV, however, shamelessly crossed the line with the term “Guido.” The name “Guido” has come to represent a negative stereotype of Italian people similar to the way ignorant people refer to Jewish people as “Hymies” and Irish people as “Mics.” MTV proves that this type of bigotry still exists, but it also reaffirms my belief that I must continue to teach my children the wonderful qualities of their heritage. Oddly, I can understand how a company would believe that airing this type of show would not affect its reputation and financial well being. After all, it is so common to see Italian-Americans negatively portrayed by “Hollywood” and “Madison Avenue,” that our society doesn’t think twice when we see garbage such as this. I do think that it is ironic that MTV tries to portray itself as the bastion of diversity, yet it allows an ethnic slur to introduce this series, which itself is rife with stereotypical, negative portrayals. Honestly, could you imagine if MTV introduced a series about Mexican-American teenagers with the tag line of “Some of the hottest, tannest, craziest Wetbacks.” That would be pretty repulsive, yes?

Equally repulsive is the statement from MTV defending the show: “The Italian-American cast takes pride in their ethnicity. We understand that this show is not intended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture.” OK great, these kids are proud of their ethnic heritage. They are also teenagers who want to be on TV in the worst way. Does that give MTV the right to refer to them as “Guidos?” If you are familiar with MTV programming, you will recognize that it unabashedly takes advantage of the scientifically proven fact that the adolescent brain is not fully developed and prone to not making the best decisions. Manipulate these kids to somehow get some alcohol and sex into the show and you have a hit on your hands. This has been a very successful formula for MTV.

I have been told to lighten up and to accept the belief that there is a bit of truth to every stereotype. Well, if that is the case, should we let it all out? Should we permit the media to go unchecked with all the unflattering and nasty stereotypes thought about Blacks, Jews, Asians, Muslims, Irish, Latinos, etc? Ask yourself this question: Would a company stereotype or hyper-exaggerate the characteristics of any other ethnic group without the risk of public scorn, damaged reputation, and loss of money? Ask yourself this question on a personal level: Would you like it if your own ethnic group were portrayed in a similar manner? I can almost understand letting it slide when it is an occasional thing, but it is so pervasive and so “over the top” that it is becoming ridiculous. Our society should know better about the slippery slope of defamation and stereotyping. MTV probably knew better, but figured they would field some complaints and wait for it to blow over.

Peter Fosco – Havertown, PA

Peter Fosco on December 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm

There are plenty of drunken Irish at the Jersey Shore. You can tell by the Irish Flags, couches on porches, and empty kegs on the lawn. They burn easily too, especially when they’re passed out on the beach. I smell Jersey Shore Pt. 2 – or – is that vomit I smell?

Just kidding. Take it easy. Don’t be so thin-skinned. Plus, MTV would never do that to the Irish.

Cromwell on December 19, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for the support, Deb. A lot of paisans and tribe marry each other. World travel surveys say we’re the best lovers. Yet still, all the media knows is negative hate speech. Go figure.

Rico on December 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm

You’re an idiot.

Sooooo you’re mad at MTV for filming people THAT REALLY EXIST?

Shouldn’t you be more pissed that these GUIDOS are actually out there vs. that they’ve been chosen by MTV to be filmed & laughed at?

Not all rich people are stuck-up and worthless, but we still watch The Kardashians and The Hills. :P

I guess since it hits a little closer to home, it’s offensive now. *rolls eyes* Get on with yourself and shut up. :)

RJ (Mizzle) on December 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm

If you’ve ever been to Seaside Heights or Wildwood NJ you’d know that this show is (unfortunately) FAR from being an exaggeration, so I have little sympathy for the Italian community crying foul over this show.

I do wish that MTV wasn’t re-inforcing and rewarding this type of behavior by making a TV show out of it.

Eric on December 29, 2009 at 9:58 am

I think that MTV is ruining the young generation. What kind of positive ‘role models’ are these?? Is this how we should be portraying ourselves as teenagers to the rest of the world? How do we expect the young generation to be raised with good and positive examples. MTV needs to shut this show down, no doubt about it. Shows like these should not be shown.

Teens need to stand together to remove vile shows like these since they think we “like” stuff like this

Serena on January 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm

“While I agree with you for the most part Debbie, I have to say that I don’t think a show negatively portraying Jews would really be tolerated, either. Anti-semitism is a known and well-enforced taboo in this country. People are very careful, on a public level, not to take part in it.”

Uh, really? Ever heard of Curb Your Enthusiasm? Entourage? Practically any show on cable or any sitcom at all with Jewish characters?

Dave on January 15, 2010 at 2:17 am

this debbie girl is incredibly naive. I mean comon, muslims arent portrayed bad on tv and in movies? For god sakes how many movies the past decade have an arab guy holding a bomb in the middle of a park saying his final prayers. Or a movie with a plane being taken down by arabs. This coming froma jew i can understand why u wanna take a few jabs at us, and by the way learn what jihad means and dnt used made up words by the government like jihadis and jihadas. Stupidest thing i have heard. As for the italians yea id be pissed if sum1 assumed i was a guido but i wudnt be so insecure about the show, i mean every race is portrayed bad. As for the mafia films i wudnt mind if i was italian and sum1 mistaken mean for a capo and carried my groceries home outta respect.

hani on March 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm

You are an idiot…BET is owned by white people..and 99% is stereotyping blacks…not whites…If you really think BET shows blacks in a positive light EVER, then you are a narrow minded jackass.

John Hendrix on July 5, 2010 at 7:45 am

Jews are amoung those who still suffer the worst in many ways as far as bigotry – at least on the web. Did you ever check out Jew Watch on google? It comes up immediately after you type in “Jew”. It’s the stuff of the Nazi era that produced the Holocaust.

Barbara Hock on July 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I wish this dumb kike Debbie conserva-jew would shut up already!

Sponge on September 15, 2010 at 12:54 am

MTV has been shoving deliberate,Left-distorted,Politically Correct,cultural BS since 1981! Wether it’s music videos( The sleazy,sexist, Metal vids in the ’80s, and the sleazier,more sexist and preachy,RACIST Rap/Hip Hop vids from the late ’80s and still going,ugggghhhh ), or their documentaries,music “news” shows,”reality” shows,and who cares what they’ll come up with next,it’s 30 years of Leftist attempts to prove how “edgy” and “hip” they are.

Controversy/Shock/Edgy = More attention/Bigger ratings

Phineas on October 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Frankly, I dont know how you can compare a casting noice for “loud, proud Italians” and “guidos and guidettes” to one that is looking for “violent, America-hating Muslims” and “jihadis and jihadas.” And then, to say that is an accurate description of Muslims, like Islam is some kind of a religon that incites violence and breeds hatred? Honestly, how can you condemn others for their biased views on Italians when you, yourself, seem proud of the way you regard Islam? Like, seriously, it boggles my mind how you can think its not okay for Italians to be thought of as rowdy and ignorant, but viewing most Muslims as “American-hating” and “violent” is perfectly alright, because hey, that’s /so/ close to the truth. And alright, I can see why you’d be frustrated that only some ethnicities/cultures are made fun of on television. But that might have something to do with the fact that projecting a culture/race on television as being rowdy or party-crazy is way different then saying they’re hell-bent on destroying all Americans. So yes, even though you’re article had some good points, I truly believe that you’re as ignorant as those you mock. The only difference is that you’re more articulate and a helluva alot more full of yourself.
PS. Pick up a Qur’an or watch a couple of BET shows (or any show for that matter) before you write another stereotypical riddled article. Because hey, it might be helpful to actually have knowledge of the things that you claim to be so knowledgeable about.

Ifra on January 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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