In light of announcements of a second season at Seaside Heights, UNICO (the nation’s largest Italian American service org) National President Andre DiMino promised a renewed battle against MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” which he says stereotypes and degrades Italian Americans.
“If MTV continues…then we’ll fight back,” DiMino said, noting that UNICO received thousands of calls, letters and emails of support, and gained membership for taking on the show last year.
“Quite frankly, MTV had a field day at the expense of Italian Americans with the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast of bimbos, buffoons and their deplorable antics,” DiMino said.
“However, we’re not done fighting yet.”
DiMino noted that UNICO members would likely prepare for some protesting of their own at Seaside Heights, noting UNICO already sponsored a packed rally over the winter at the shore town, focusing on anti-bias efforts and “Jersey Shore.”
DiMino took exception with statements from Seaside Heights Borough Administrator John Camera, who thinks the show is a positive for the community.
Camera stated in the press that “the magnitude of the audience they’ve reached has been well worth some of the negative aspects of it. Most people who are thoughtful realize, because they are watching a reality TV show, that’s not what most of the people in the town are like.”
Says DiMino: “Camera not only chooses to sell out the Italian American community for a few quick bucks today, but fails to see the long-term damage a show like ‘Jersey Shore’ does to a community like Seaside that has been trying to shed negative perceptions for years. Thanks to his shortsightedness, these negative perceptions will continue to hound the community, perhaps now, in perpetuity. I sympathize with the decent homeowners, residents and families who must endure the stereotyping and whose community has been stigmatized by this show. After all, that’s what ‘Jersey Shore’ has done to Italian Americans.”
DiMino was baffled by Camera’s comments supporting a permit allowing MTV filming in Seaside Heights: “The cast engaged in nudity, broke laws, got arrested, beat up bar-goers and boozed their way through town. They got sued and created potential liability for the town. What else do they have to do before they decide not to grant permits – murder someone?”
UNICO’s opposition to “Jersey Shore” created critical articles about MTV and “Jersey Shore” from hundreds of media outlets worldwide. UNICO’s efforts also resulted in numerous sponsors withdrawing advertising, including T-Mobile, Dell, Domino’s Pizza and Zappos. No comment received yet from MTV Networks.