A mural of the Italian flag, which covered part of the front of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” beach house at Seaside Heights and was used to symbolize the show which it UNICO says stereotyped Italian Americans, has been removed, UNICO National President Andre’ DiMino announced.
The mural of the Italian flag was painted over the garage door of the shore house, with a centered overlay of an outline of the State of New Jersey. The removal occurs after talks between Italian American leaders and MTV about derogatory Italian American references and imagery used in “Jersey Shore.”
Based on recent promos for the upcoming second season of “Jersey Shore,” set to debut on July 29th, ironically the same date as UNICO’s National Convention in Hershey, PA, DiMino stated he is “cautiously optimistic” about the potential lack of derogatory Italian American references and imagery in the new season: “I still believe the cast acts reprehensibly and continue to appear dumb as rocks, but, at least, the Italian American emphasis is not apparent.”
Removal of the Italian flag mural is being celebrated throughout UNICO. “We are pleased MTV has stopped this desecration of the Italian flag and the image of New Jersey,” DiMino said. “For the Italian flag and the image of New Jersey to be associated with the poor behavior of the cast, including the first season’s stereotypical portrayals and violence against women and others, was a denigration of both images and an affront to Italy, Italian Americans, New Jerseyans, and anyone with good sense.”
DiMino has made more than 40 major media appearances and been interviewed for dozens of print stories in leading UNICO National’s crusade against “Jersey Shore” and other shows stereotyping and denigrating Italian Americans.
“Big networks see big profits in presenting negative images of Italian Americans to the rest of the world,” DiMino said. “These networks send the wrong message by promoting and glamorizing poor behavior and using ethnic stereotypes, racial and ethnic slurs.”
DiMino, representing UNICO National, joined John Dabbene, National President Emeritus and Michael Santo, Counsel, of the NY Commission for Social Justice (CSJ) of the Order Sons of Italy in meeting and talks with MTV Executives at Viacom headquarters in NY.
UNICO and CSJ leaders were endorsed by three other prominent Italian American groups – National Italian American Foundation; National Organization of Italian American Women; and Columbus Citizens Foundation.