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October 25, 2014

Lawmakers Pressure MTV to Cancel 'Jersey Shore'

by Marina Zogbi, posted Dec 28th 2009 12:04PM
Jersey ShoreMTV's controversial reality show 'Jersey Shore' is under yet more fire, this time from the New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus, which, according to Variety, says the show promotes derogatory ethnic stereotypes and is "wildly offensive." Last Tuesday the group sent a letter to the president of Viacom, MTV's parent company, asking that the show be immediately taken off the air. The state lawmakers have also called on advertisers to boycott the show.

This is only the latest condemnation of the program, which was under attack before it even premiered in early December by another Italian American organization, UNICO National. At that time, MTV defended 'Jersey Shore' by stating that "the cast takes pride it its ethnicity" and that the show "exposes one of the tri-state area's most misunderstood species ... the GUIDO."Jersey ShoreMTV's controversial reality show 'Jersey Shore' is under yet more fire, this time from the New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus, which, according to Variety, says the show promotes derogatory ethnic stereotypes and is "wildly offensive." Last Tuesday the group sent a letter to the president of Viacom, MTV's parent company, asking that the show be immediately taken off the air. The state lawmakers have also called on advertisers to boycott the show.

This is only the latest condemnation of the program, which was under attack before it even premiered early this month by another Italian American organization, UNICO National. At that time, MTV defended 'Jersey Shore' by stating that "the cast takes pride in its ethnicity" and that the show "exposes one of the tri-state area's most misunderstood species ... the GUIDO."

Despite its (questionable) value as socio-anthropological vehicle, the show lost advertiser Domino's Pizza soon after its premiere and drew criticism from more groups, including the National Italian American Foundation.

Additional outrage/disgust was subsequently stirred up by an episode preview in which cast member Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was sucker-punched by a guy at a bar in Seaside Heights. After the video went viral, MTV pulled the offending footage from the episode before it aired.

The most high-profile attack on 'Jersey Shore' came last week from the ladies of 'The View.' During a discussion of the show, Joy Behar described it as insulting, adding that "These idiots come out and make Italians look bad."

Will MTV heed the latest call for canceling the show? It's doubtful, given that all the negative publicity has unquestionably drawn more viewers than it's repelled.

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