December 24th, 2009
01:58 PM ET

New Jersey pols protest 'Jersey Shore'

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What does former “Who’s the Boss?" star Alyssa Milano have in common with a New Jersey politician? They are both fed up with the MTV show “Jersey Shore.”

MTV’s latest reality creation has been run through the wringer of public opinion by folks upset over its stereotypes of Italian-Americans and its portrayal of violence against women.

Now New Jersey State Senator Joseph Vitale, the chairman of the New Jersey Italian American Legislative Congress, is taking a stand. The senator announced earlier this week that his group has sent a letter to Viacom, parent company of MTV, asking them to cancel the controversial program, saying the show promotes ethnic stereotypes of Italian-Americans that are offensive and untrue.

“They go out of their way to encourage the cast members to use the term 'guido,' ” Vitale told CNN.  “Any other ethnic group would not allow words that offend them or offend their ethnicity to be used this way. I don’t care what these kids do down the shore if they want to tan or spike their hair - that’s their life - but I think words do matter.”

The letter, addressed to Phillipe P. Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom Inc.,  questions just how “real” the depictions on the show are.

“ 'Jersey Shore' is a fabrication created by MTV Networks and marketed to represent reality. It was filmed on a set, which, in fact, is dismantled after filming. A story-line, while perhaps not scripted, was created and a cast of Italian Americans hired. … The subculture depicted in ‘Jersey Shore’ is one created solely by MTV Networks,” Vitale wrote in the letter.

Vitale also notes that the Italian-American cast of the show regularly uses the derogatory terms “guido” and “guidette” when describing themselves, and that the use of such terms violates Viacom’s own policies requiring a harassment-free workplace, as well as New Jersey’s tough laws on racial bias and ethnic discrimination.

“You just don’t use words like that. It’s not acceptable and it’s not OK for Italians to use them and it’s not OK for non-Italians to use them. It promotes a stereotype,” Vitale said.

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Filed under: television

soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. project freedom

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have introduced in your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for novices. May just you please prolong them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

    April 18, 2012 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. 4u

    tv shoes and entertainment

    July 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rocky Bayer

    It's a satire, right?

    December 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RTFM

    As a lifelong resident of NJ, I detest shows like The Sopranos and The Jersey Shore simply because they never represent the state accurately. We're not all populated with mobsters and orange-tanned frat boys. Some of the greatest minds of our time called my state home – how about a show about that, MTV? Wait, right- that violates the first unwritten rule of television- "if its positive or intellectual, never show it on TV".

    December 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marculas

    I know if I don't like watching something I change the channel. I am African-american and I have been stereo-typed a certain way and my world has not stopped turning. To the people that have a problem with it, turn the channel and SHUT-UP!!!!

    December 29, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mel

    I Love this show! It totally depicts Jersey Shore!

    December 29, 2009 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lei

    As an Italian American, I am offended by the word "guido," and I'll tell you why.
    After WW2, most of my family escaped the terror of living in Mussolini's dictatorship. They had lost everything they owned in the war and watched their home that had been in the family for generations get burned to the ground. The family members that did make it worked really hard to move past stereotypes. I literally have never seen some of my family members take a day to rest in their life. I appreciate what my family worked hard to give me and get extremely offended when all I hear is that Italian Americans are "greasy, lazy and orange tanned." The word "Guido" represents all that is negative with Italians and is just as much offensive as the "N" word or the "K" word.

    Just like many of our words, you may not always it offensive if it doesn't personally affect you. I have spoken with people who think this show is funny, but are these people Italian Americans? Of course not. Is this show ridiculous? Of course. But that doesn't change the fact that MTV has set up a show to display a stereotype of Italian Americans as "guidos." Why Italian Americans? Why not just a random group of people? Because it's easier to target groups and one that hadn't been the butt of jokes for a while was the Italian Americans. Does that make it right? No way.

    Sure it's funny to laugh at their antics and craziness, but what are you really laughing at? Think about it next time, and think about how you would feel if the stereotype was about you. And if you're Italian American, think about how your family would feel.

    December 29, 2009 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Melanie

    The only people that look stupid are the idiots on this show, and now the senator. Whether these people are paid or not, the look like low class, low educated disrespectful morons. They portray whatever they need too, and it will follow them so who cares.

    I have been to the Jersey Shore and Seaside Heights and frankly what you see on this show is a lot of what you see there.

    It does not take a genius to realize not all Italian-Americans are like this and not all people from Jersey are like this.

    I don't personally find the show offensive, I do however find it ridiculous.

    December 29, 2009 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mic

    Let be honest, the only people that look bad are the cast members themselves not Italians. Anyone who thinks that all Italians act like that really need to educated themselves. The politicians really need to concentrate on more important issues like education, healthcare and the economy!

    December 29, 2009 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Liz

    I work with adolescents and young adults and have been watching these MTV shows for years just to keep up with youth culture. I can understand why Italian-Americans might be offended by the stereotypical portrayals. As someone who lives in central-Appalachia, I am often offended by stereotypical portrayals of the mountain poor.

    Having said that, I think it is important to understand that MTV obviously seeks and recruits specific types of kids for their programs. Whether it is My Sweet Sixteen, The Real World, Road Rules, or The Jersey Shore, many of the cast members are shallow, emotionally volatile, narcissistic kids. To me the cast members of The Jersey Shore are no different from the casts of the aforementioned shows. I find them repulsive not because they are Italian-Americans, but because they are shallow, emotionally volative and narcissistic.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dion

    I didn't know NJ has 100% Italians living there. Isn't that a stereotype in itself. Honestly, don't give words so much power over you. There Young Adults living their lives, not your life.. Here's an Idea " change the channel" or go outside and so something, like i dunno pass laws that help humanity as a whole. Or even figure out how to provide more jobs or improve the education process. "Guido Fist Pump"

    December 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Don't Really Care!

    I don't really care for the show but what is quite annoying is how I repeatedly see those that have already posted comments utilize bad grammar. Case in point . . . Andy and Maria – if you say:
    "They live this way knowing there on national television," the word is actually "they're" not "there". It might be a good idea to check your gramar before posting a blog for the world to see. I would suggest you pick up a book or newspaper more often. Happy Holidays!

    December 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ross

    "There's no such thing as bad press". Keep screaming and yelling – it just makes the MTV ad revenues go up.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carter

    I would also like to know why a state rep. would take time out of his day to speak out about a show on mtv when he could be reading one of the many bills that will be coming up for vote in congress when they resume from there holiday break. Thats just me though, call me crazy that i think we should focus on issues that well effect our country for years to come.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Andrew

    To those saying only 1 person is from NJ, you're ALL wrong. Sammy is from Hazlet which is in......NJ! As well as 'The Situation' from Manalapan. Did Hazlet become a suburb of Staten Island or something ?

    December 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Scott

    The show is absolutely awful....but it shouldn't be illegal for people to portray themselves as idiots. I mean really....look as the Real Houswives of Orange, Atlanta, et all. They make themselves out to be the biggest idiots of all...but I'm not going to go so far as to say it should be illegal. But I do feel bad for all Italians that these morons are now your domestic representatives instead of the Sopranos. Wait......

    December 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Nick

    I'm not sure why all the confusion about these cast members being from or representing New Jersey. The show never claims they're from New Jersey, and even goes as far as to show where they all come from, RI, SI, Brooklyn. The show is about these kids at the Jersey Shore, which is exactly what the Shore looks like in the summer, especially in Seaside. This culture definitely exists, and no one with half a brain actually thinks that this is how all italian-americans act, look or behave.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ryan

    THe show is hilarious. As for the senator stating that its not okay for italian americans or non-italian americans to use the word guido or guidette is rediculous.

    My girlfriend is Italian and we sit and laugh our asses off on this show. I dont think it is a depiction of italians but just a group of kids that are idiots. Its funny. There are plenty of other shows that use stereotypes for entertainment. If it offends you turn the channel

    December 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Piraino

    While I find the show to be incredibly stupid I don't approve of the government policing our choice of television, even if it is a stupid choice. The real problem stems from the ever-popularized mafia movies that these kids emulate. While I LOVED the godfather as an artful historical depiction of Italian-Americans, shows like the Soprano's have created a sub-culture of morans.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  20. Jessica*

    @ yosef – I don't think it's "certain" groups of people who get offended when people make fun of them. It's ALL groups of people.

    I'm an Italian American (but I'm all the way in AZ) and I don't act like these fools. Anytime there is a show that portrays any race in a negative light – be it by the cast members themselves – people get all up in arms about it.

    By the way – I think it's even funnier that this show isn't about "white" people – as longs as I've been alive I've never seen "Italian American" as an options on any hospital paperwork – or employment paperwork. I've been told by everyone my whole life that I'm "white"...what's the difference with these kids? Are they special? Or is it only on the east coast that you can be an Italian American?

    December 28, 2009 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
  21. Jessica*

    No one is asking the real question...WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THAT GIRL "SNOOKIE'S" HAIR?! Does she really think that's cute?! Who told her that? It doesn't even look like something Lady GaGa would do.

    December 28, 2009 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |

    If they choose to act on Jersey Shore and talk this way, then
    these people are to be pitied. The Sopranos are bad enough.
    I cancelled my HBO because of that trash. The Senator is
    right to be angry

    December 27, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Dobbs returns

    If they choose to act on Jersey Shore and talk this way, then
    these pity are to be pitied. The Sopranos were bad enough.
    I canceled my HBO because of that trash. The Senator is right
    to be angry.

    December 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Diva

    Again, I am not sure why everyone is STILL talking about this. It's been on MTV for a few weeks now, and is coming back on Thursday. They found a group of self important, arrogant, tacky, young people who thought it would be cool to play themselves up for the entertainment of the free world. They are not a representation of every young person in NJ – and if you believe they are, then you certainly need a reality check.

    December 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Rafiq

    its almost 2010. There is handy hand held device called a REMOTE CONTROL !! one press of a button changes the channel. If everyone does this, the show would have no viewers and would be cancelled. Apparently enough people are watching the program to make it continue on so it will. It like people protesting again homosexuality. Stop your complaining and go on with your life and let people do whatever they want to do. If people want to watch mindless TV, LET THEM !!

    December 26, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Squan NJ

    I go to the Jersey Shore every summer and the actions and attitudes of the cast of the MTV Series are identical to thousands of other Jersey Shore summer households. The line "The subculture depicted in ‘Jersey Shore’ is one created solely by MTV Networks" is simply not true.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  27. AS

    Vitale needs to stop pretending like these kind of people don't exist

    December 25, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  28. Mattski

    I don't care about the stereotypes, but I have no interest in watching a bunch of overblown bimbos and ogres abuse one another and everyone around them. The scariest part is that the show is actually popular.

    December 25, 2009 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  29. Beth

    Worst show ever. Please remove from tv!

    December 25, 2009 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  30. Albert

    Another hit for MTV. Keeping America's youth "entertained" with "reality TV". I hope young people out there don't relate to this kind of junk that prays on impressionable minds with their "scripted shock value" shows. I passed on MTV. You should be doing videos. Shame on you!

    December 25, 2009 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  31. Lee Stanford

    Oh yeah, this is really important stuff! I watch less than a micro-second of this crap and discovered that my remote control worked just fine. The channel changed and all was good. How about focusing on the real issues like the economy, healthcare, pollution...Need I go on.

    December 25, 2009 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  32. Ed

    Hey, this American TV as we know it...dumb and dumber. It's either lame reality shows or violent crime investigation. So now we see our citizens yearn to get their "15 minutes of fame" to get on these sorry episodes by falsifying balloon incidents or crashing a White House State dinner. This is le mirrors U.S. society. Sorry scene...

    December 25, 2009 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  33. Common Sense

    The fact that all of the characters are always swearing is more of a problem for me. The swearing is not scripted and just a part of these people's vocabulary. Maybe the show is scripted, but many of us see this type of character everyday. The hair, the clothes, the partying and the attitude. Go to any restaurant that also has a bar area and you see people who would be just at home on this set. The Italians of NY and NJ are just as depicted. Go to any beach on Long Island and you can see them as well. Is the cast anything different then what was shown on "Growing up Gotti"?

    December 25, 2009 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  34. Papasan

    Kill your T.V. !!!!!!

    Papasan in AZ

    December 25, 2009 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  35. Angel

    Who cares about this show! It's supposed to be entertainment not a social commentary. Luckly the Senator has alot of time on his hands because thank God this country doesn't have enough problems. Why is it that people think this show make New Jerseyans look stupid? It's not the show it's the fact that we have; high tax rates, mediocre education,'s not the show it the politicians that make us look stupid. Who cares what a bunch of pumped up kids (except for that "situation" character who's like 30-he's just a sad man), do on a summer vacation.

    December 25, 2009 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  36. Kurt

    I think people need to lighten up.... It's only a tv show. If they don't like it, they probably have 50 other channels to chose from..

    December 25, 2009 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  37. Uncle Jetski

    Perhaps State Senator Vitale would prefer a show called "Trenton!" that has a cast full of corrupt NJ politicians.

    Or is that just another inaccurate stereotype?

    December 25, 2009 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  38. Jaynicia

    It's weird and funny watching people get upset about this show. When other ethnic groups are stereotyped on tv, these same protesters are always yelling, "it's just entertainment," "turn the channel," and "truth hurts-deal with it."

    Now the shoe's on the other foot and they want to get upset and are screaming for the show to be yanked off the air. If we had to deal with Flava Flav and Tanisha and many of you protesters yucked it up, you gotta deal with The Situation and Snooki. If not, turn the channel.

    Personally, I found the show boring and slow but that's just me.

    December 25, 2009 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |



    How about when someone doesn't like your RELIGION?

    How about we censor your religion and see how you like it.



    December 25, 2009 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  40. Tiger Wuuds


    December 25, 2009 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  41. noel

    The Jersey Shore – depicts having fun by the jersey shore.
    When I was young my friends would go down the Jersey Shore – to have fun. Enjoy the rides, the beach, boardwalk, and other forms of entertainment.
    I have been to those clubs where young people hang and out with friends. While at the bars or night club NO ONE walks around proclaiming they are "guido". These characters even say they "enjoy the guido" lifestyle. Leave these characters alone. It is like a cartoon!

    These politicians should look in the mirror remember the others who are behind jail for their corruption in "pay to play"!

    December 25, 2009 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  42. Steve

    Dear NJ State Senator Vitale,

    Having lived in big cities across the United States for over 40 years, I have NEVER met, seen or talked to an Italian person.

    Thanks to your excellent work... I am stunned to learn that all American Italians are not exactly like the ones depicted in "Jersey Shore." Because I just assumed all Italian people are like that.

    In fact, whenever I see anything on TV, I always assume it to be 100 percent true. Those people on "The Office" are not actors, right? That's all real, too, correct? They really work together, don't they?
    And "The Brady Bunch" kids. They really are siblings... and Alice really is a housekeeper. Yes? What about that famous Italian chef... Chef Boyardee. Is he real? I'm not sure.

    See, I am a moron. A total buffoon. A calzone has a higher I.Q. than myself. And it's so helpful to have leaders like yourself help me figure things out.

    Thank you for putting this issue ahead of your state budget, health care, unemployment and other more minor concerns. Sometimes I worry that our elected officials work too hard. It's nice to know you have time to watch TV.

    Oh, before I go... I'm just wondering. Are you really a State Senator? I'm so confused. Or do you just play one in New Jersey. I can't figure out what is real anymore. I need more help.

    December 25, 2009 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  43. yosef

    c'mon c'mon c'mon... i hate to bring race into this but it's interesting how certain groups in this country get worked up over "negative portrayals" of themselves but when it comes to watching shows that accentuate the negative components of a SUBSET of black culture in the US, they eat it up, buy it up, and use that as fodder to fuel their already negative stereotypes of black people.

    i say LONG LIVE JERSEY SHORE...and if MTV has other shows that accentuate the negatives of hispanics, asians, and whites...bring it on. i think we need to level the playing field here...who's with me???

    December 25, 2009 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  44. jay

    First off it is very offensive, I am italian american from NJ! I left the jersey shore sceen 2 years ago, it is played out and too many young punks from staten island and ny invading jersey cause there are no good places in long island and ny during the summer. I belive 5 of the people on the show are no even from NJ, they are from NYC! The show makes all italians from jersey look really pathetic. I am ashamed and embarrassed by these jerkoffs. Trust me all of them get no respect, and personally I belive someone is going to eventually confront them and give them a beating.

    December 25, 2009 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  45. JaFaKeAn

    This is a typical run around of non-sensical BS....
    If you're dim witted enough to exploit your ethnicity amongst
    the masses than so be it, no one is begging the cast members
    to go out and degrade their creed.
    Ultimately it's a personal choice and I'm all for it!
    ...just don't over do the fact that you're an asshole
    or for that matter that all the people of whom the racial
    background you belong to act the same way as you do,
    if you're a cast member please "pre-announce"
    that you're the only dumb bastard(bitch) featured on TV
    that decides to get paid + the cost of free drinks
    to go out to get classified as a douche nozzle.
    ...I'm not a hater. just another asshole with an opinion.

    December 25, 2009 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
  46. Ramone

    MTV: the channel's sole purpose is to allow stupid people to watch even stupider people act intelligent.

    December 25, 2009 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  47. Mobius

    Like everyone doesn't already know NJ is a douchebag dumping ground? Seriously.

    December 25, 2009 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  48. Jersey Socks

    I hate this show but hey, freedom of speech. It's their guaranteed right just like my right to vote with my remote control and change the channel.

    December 25, 2009 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  49. Constantine in Rumson, NJ

    Greatest show ever.

    December 25, 2009 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  50. Martino

    As an Italian, I'm not even remotely offended by the term "guido", so Mr. Vitale can not speak for the rest of us who find this show just plain stupid (like most reality shows). Since, I don't care about it, I don't watch it. If you complain about something, that's just free advertising for said show. The best way is to let it slip into obscurity instead of whining about it bringing it back to the surface for any rubbernecker to go watch and see what the fuss is about (while adding to the ratings of the show).

    So, please, if you don't like it, don't watch it. No free advertising for the show.

    December 25, 2009 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  51. Taylor

    I went to school on the east coast for a year with people who were from new jersey and new york who called themselves guidos and guidettes. They were some of the most self absorbed people I have met in my entire life and are exactly like the people who are on this show. A year is the most I could handle with these people and had to move back to the mid west where people are sane! It disgusts me that they're proud to be like that. I think this should be seen as a wake up call to parents to see what their kids are really like.

    December 25, 2009 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  52. ChrisC

    Just saw this show for the first time....I can't believe what I am seeing. These people are the most ridiculous idiots EVER! The stupid hair and makeup, the accents. The even stupider dancing and drama, I feel 50% more stupid after sticking with it for a whole episode.

    December 25, 2009 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  53. Denise

    Have any of you sat down and really watched more than 10 minutes of the show?

    There's a premise to it: Real World meets The Hills. That's it.

    It's cheap "entertainment" to make. If everyone wants to get their panties in a wad over a SHOW, why don't we wipe out Lifetime and BET, SpikeTV, and FX.

    Everything on TV has a target audience. Alyssa Milano and Senator Vitale are not the target audience for Jersey Shore.

    I personally find Desperate Housewives more offensive than Jersey Shore.

    December 25, 2009 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  54. Pam

    I remember when MTV was all about the music and when they truly used to be a music channel, now it's just the brat channel. I can't stand "reality" TV but I don't believe in censorship either, so I just don't watch "reality" TV. I just think it's pathetic and laugh fable how a lot of these kids act so tough, these kids don't live in the REAL world like most of us do, they live in a bubble in which they will always be bailed out by mommy and daddy the minute they get into a jam and have no responsibilities whatsoever ....and what's really sad it's that these are the type of shows that pull in the ratings.

    December 25, 2009 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  55. Marshall

    I think it is appropriate for these Italian people to be portrayed this way. I am from Alabama and I would not be offended if it was a show about coloreds and they used the n-word. This picture show will bring the guidos of new jersey the attention they need so that they can get the rights that they deserve and I wish them all the luck in the world.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  56. Billy

    hey RON – "MTV is merely documenting what has been in long standing phenomenon from that area."

    I have lived in New Jersey my whole life and what you see on MTV isn't what happens at the shore. I had parties and had spent proms at seaside and never has anything like this happen. Everyone has shown respect especially towards ladies. And oh yeah by the way.. The dudes that are acting to be from jersey are really from NYC. Before casting a judgment from a teenager trash channel network... Get the facts before making a statement.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  57. Diane

    Just like Jersey Shore may show stereotypical Italians, this is no different than other tv shows which depict other stereotypical ethnic groups. For example, the Real World has a stereotypical black person from the city, a stereotypical gay person, a stereotypical white person from a small town, a stereotypical political person, a stereotypical idiot who knows nothing about anything, etc. The main difference is that Jersey Shore is specifically about Italians. There are shows that are mainly about country folk, blacks, city dwellers (The City, The Hills), etc. Everyone get over it.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  58. gary

    I moved out of Jersey about 18 months ago. I left because of the high taxes and poor quality of life. When I watched this show, I was embarrassed to think I even ever lived there. More importantly, the show is horrible and it continues the trend of the dumbing down of America.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  59. Steve

    I'm a life-long Southerner. I can empathize with these people being stereotyped. I frequently travel up and down the east coast and see all kinds of people. It is maddening to see how widely accepted it is to ridicule or make fun of stereotypes. From my experience, those guilty of stereotyping come from all political affiliations. To me, it is particularly galling to hear it from liberals, as they supposedly are the ones cornering the market on "tolerance".

    December 25, 2009 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  60. jen

    I am from this area of NJ and people like this do spend their summers at "the Shore". Who cares if these people go on tv and act like idiots, the only people they are making look foolish are themselves.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |

    I spent a month on the Jersey Shore in the 90's. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is exactly how these folks live and act. I had my nose broken from asking if I could buy a woman a drink.

    My wife is Italian and from NY, she wouldn't live on the Jersey Shore if her life depended on it........she said it's exactly how it's presented, she has relatives there.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  62. Rob

    Until you have lived and seen the Guidos on Staten Island and on the Jersey Shore it is hard for anyone to understand how these creeps act.
    This show is offending to them? Then maybe they should not act like this. This stereotype was not created for the show, the show was created for this stereotype.

    December 25, 2009 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  63. JB

    Just so you know, for those who have never been there, not all of the Jersey Shore is like this...only certain parts. I've been going to the Long Beach Island on the shore for over 30 years. There is no board walk and it's not full of guidos.

    The same holds true for most of south Jersey as well, including Avalon, Stone Harbor, Sea Isle City, Ocean City and many others.

    This show is hysterical! Like the others have said, change the channel if you don't want to watch!

    December 25, 2009 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  64. Courtney

    I totally agree with the comments in this article. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the show but I do watch it from time to time, and with me not being italian the things I see on the show I assume it to be the norm. So I get where some people would get mad at the show espically if it's not protraying a group of people such as Italians correctly and honestly. MTv needs to be held accountable for the messages they send to their views!

    December 25, 2009 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  65. Dennis Lujan

    I like the term Savege indian, as one myself, I'd like to scalp a honky any day. Put me in a room with a bunch of white people and I'd tear your hair out of your heads for stealing our land. Honky you go fetchum fire wood. I like Savage Indians

    December 25, 2009 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  66. Mirabella

    Everyone owes an incredible amount of gratitude to people of Italian descent. I couldn't name another group of people that has advanced modern culture, art and science more than Italians. Small military encampments called Paris and London were started by the Roman armies.

    December 25, 2009 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  67. silvio

    This is entertainment! Should we have shut down the Sopranos in the first season because Tony was a bigot?

    December 25, 2009 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  68. bryan

    these people are not even from jersey... they use the word jersey shore cause people all ready have a sterio type in there heads of what the jersey shore is. these people are clowns. they are paid actors who are not even from jersey... and to be honest with you if you are over the age of 21 and are watching this stuff then you are a losser.. lets be real now.. lol....

    December 24, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Mark

    In these days of extreme political correctness, it is perfectly OK to offend Italian Americans, because they are a subset of White Americans. I'll bet the network doesn't have the balls to offend Black Americans or Hispanic Americans because then it would be considered racist. I believe you have the right to offend anybody. Then they have the right to teach you some manners, so to speak.

    December 24, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  70. cruzinman

    Jersey girls have big hair, big mouths and smack their gum, no matter what nationality.

    December 24, 2009 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Justin

    HOW ABOUT MTV cancels Sweet 16. That show is the most ridiculous and horrible show on tv. It encourages kids to be spoiled, rude, and obnoxious little pieces of trash and get rewarded for it with parties and cars.
    MTV is teaching the kids of America great stuff...

    December 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Margaret

    Google "guidos" and you will see random videos of people just like those on the show, acting the same way. Why? Because there really are people like this in the tri-state area. This is not exaggerated behavior.

    December 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Margaret

    I grew up on Long Island and guidos are very real. They represent a portion of the Italian American population.

    As for the violence against women- Snookie was hit by a man that was a complete stranger to the cast- he was stealing their drinks at a bar and she confronted him. The show's critics are being purposely misleading- they make it sound like the "guidos" are beating women on the show... ridiculous.

    December 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  74. gayle simon

    Please clarify this for me. If 'Jersey Shore' is a" fabrication created by MTV Networks and marketed to represent reality and was filmed on a set, (which, in fact, is dismantled after filming.)", is true, was the assualt on one of the female cast members in a bar fabricated or not?? What does this mean: " A story-line, while perhaps not scripted, was created and a cast of Italian Americans hired. … The subculture depicted in ‘Jersey Shore’ is one created solely by MTV Networks,"Does this mean that it was scripted at all? A little bit? Or was it not reality at all?

    December 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  75. flyer7694

    The shame of it is, none of the people on the "Jersey Shore" are from the Jersey Shore. All of the people on the show are actually from New York, as are the creators of the show. There was an editorial in a large NJ newspaper decrying Jersey Shore folks being portrayed this way, when in fact they are nothing like that. When this editorial was printed, New York newspapers complained about the editorial writer, not about the people from New York on the show acting like idiots. In fact, the guy who punched the girl on the show was from New York himself, not from NJ. NJ has a bad enough rap, we don't need help from New Yorkers who portray themselves as from the Jersey Shore acting this way. Jersey Shore people complain about the "bennies" (as they are called) who descend on the Jersey Shore from New York every year, and pray for winter when they disappear again.

    December 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Carvin

    This country is so afraid of words, even though our founders felt that free speech was important enough to make it our 1st Amendment.

    How about you party poopers turn the channel when Jersey Shore comes on? Maybe go spend some time with your precious children, or tie a ribbon on a tree to support the troops?

    December 24, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  77. hernyaccent

    The funniest part about the situation is that people did not get offended about exploitation until it is their "race or ethnicity", a white ethnic group that is being exploited. African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino Americans, Native-Americans and all other non-white ethnic groups are constantly exploited on MTV but hey, I guess as long as it isn't your group it is funny. I say the show stay. ALL racial groups have morons as members and hiding it does not change it.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Steve

    Having grown up in NJ I can tell you from personal experience and from being italian that yes, some/most of us talk like that. A stereotype would not be a stereotype if it were not true. Yes we used to drive Iroc Z's and Trans AM's, yes we use hair gel and fake tans and yes we like to dress the way we like to dress. The politico should tackle tough issues like joblessness in NJ and worry less about what kids do on a fake reality tv show.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  79. doc800

    Don't miss next weeks show where the topic will be "Sauce or Gravy, Which is it". Politicians in NJ have far bigger things to tackle then the depiction of Italians on a stupid television show. Maybe they can stuff something in the Health care reform to ban this from ever happening again. Please stop the mindless dribble about this, don't like it then don't watch it.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Becky

    This is so silly. None of them are even from NJ. Most are from NY (like me, and I am not offended by it). The people featured on the show are not the only ones who act that way, look at their peers at the clubs. It's only a TV show. Should we pull Modern Family off the air because it has all sorts of stereotypes against people? Get over it already.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Sam

    I think this show has actually done a great deal to humanize this kids and their lifestyle. I thought I was going to hate them but it turns out their just kids looking for a distinct cultural identity like everyone else. I don't see why politicians don't recognize this a strength and not a weakness.

    December 24, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Cosmo

    really it's not that big of a deal. as an african american, sometimes cringe at the antics of the real housewives of atlanta: loud, snobby, aggressive and sometimes violent (some of them). it's tv.

    I don't know those people but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they are not REALLY that bad. IT'S TV for crying out loud! I think it's funny and we should all laugh at ourselves.

    As far as their term guido, I cannot say that I will speak on it. If it is something that the majority of the Italian American culture is uncomfortable with – much like that of the n-word – then it shouldn't be used. But that DOES NOT mean that the show should be pulled at all! Those kids are hilarious, and they know it! 🙂

    December 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Eric

    Good thing Vitale is spending his time wrestling with Viacom and not solving his state's problems.

    December 24, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  84. tim

    who thinks this show is actually real? who thinks any of mtv's shows consist of a camera man following people around their daily lives? its all scripted to an extent and its cut and edited in ways to create certain feelings in the viewers. there is no such thing as reality tv

    December 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Confused in SoCal

    "Any other ethnic group would not allow words that offend them or offend their ethnicity to be used this way."

    Really? Not one ethnic group would stand for it? Are you sure about that? I'll bet if I were to use the 'N' word, my post wouldn't make it through the screening process but I hear it all the time on cable. That reminds me. I gotta add Boondocks to my new DVR. Almost had me a moment today when some idiot cut me off.

    December 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  86. kathy mcnair

    seriously,do we have to take everything we see on tv so seriously? Its just a show and people dont have to watch if they dont want to and i dont think its gonna make people think one way or the other about italian-americans,jeez lighten up people!

    December 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Jose

    As someone who was born in the state of NJ, I find this programming extremely offensive. And yes, I did turn it off and have stopped watching MTV all together as a protest.

    It doesn't matter if it's Italians, Puerto Ricans, NJ residents, NY residents, whatever. This show is a complete and absolute farce. Just because some idiots from Staten Island act like fools, doesn't mean you gotta stereotype all of NJ, NY, and Italians like that. It's just morally and on principle wrong. Just because 1/10 of people act like these idiots, doesn't mean the rest of us have to live with it, like it, or accept it. If people do act like this, 1950's are calling. They want their village idiots back.

    MTV puts too much garbage on like the Hills and Jersey Shore. It's sad that MTV used to be culturally meaningful. Now, it's recycled, plastic, fake, and doesn't even have much music anymore. I think MTV should cancel it, apologize, and actually start putting music on their channel.

    I'm with Alyssa Milano. I'm Puerto Rican and I'm offended by the show. NJ has a lot of great people in their state and shouldn't have to put up with this bogus depiction of a few idiots who don't get that it's the 21st century and people have got to grow up and change.

    December 24, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Alex

    People it's just a show >=\ If you don't like it, change the channel or play world of warcraft =\

    December 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  89. J

    At least they did not try to ban the soprano's. I think that the Sopranos' was a bit more offensive to Italians and cliche. Also the soprano's had a bit more offense and violence against women – no less- with scenes like Joey pants practically killing his stripper girlfirend infront of the strip club while doing drugs with his own bare hands. In the end even bad publicity is great publicity so i am sure mtv is thanking you for the complaints.

    December 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Gary

    As a former person from NJ, just simply change the channel. If no one watches then it will simply go away. But just be talking about it in the media adds to there ratings.
    I would hope that most people understand these people real or not, are not the norm in any state. That would mean that all Appalachians are hillbillies, all Californians are tree hugging liberals, all Midwesterners are Conservative Anti-abortionists and all Southerners are racists.

    December 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Greg

    Is there any way to just merge this show and the Teenage Mom show together?

    December 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Garrett

    I am from a town in the midwest near chicago which is pretty much exactly the same type of people. Its not just New Jersey people or just Italian Americans because if you have noticed people at these clubs (KARMA) all dress and act the same but not all of them are Italian, it just happens to be that a lot of them are and thats just because they grew up in place like I did. I am not like that but I know plenty of people who are from the suburbs and aren't Italian that act exactly the same. Relax, its hilarious.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Christine

    Where did Vitale get his information? As usual NJ looks stupid. Not from Jersey Shore, from our Senator. Idiot. Change the channel and worry about something important like healthcare.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  94. bo

    I think MTV has got to get its act together....all of these reality shows are becoming very annoying already and very passe'. Start playing music MTV, enough with the nonsense.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Anne

    The TV is an idiot box which is why I dont have one.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Deb

    I grew up in New Jersey and as a family we went "down the shore" and stayed for 2 weeks every summer in Seaside Heights. This show makes it seem like New Jersey is a bunch of mob families and their kids running the state. New Jersey is not like that and I am sick of television stereotyping it to be that way. Seaside Heights and Seaside Park and the boardwalk were a great place for family vacations and there was a bungalow colony called Midway where my family rented a little 2 bedroom bungalow every summer...wonderful great memories and no I am not Italian, I am Irish and contrary to what television is making us all believe more than just Italians live in New Jersey. Take this disgusting insulting piece of garbage off.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  97. craig

    ha ha, this is just giving NJ some action in the media, if this is the only thing the Senator has to worry about, they are doing good. TV is TV, entertainment!!!!!!!

    December 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Natalie

    Cast is from NY... if you dont like it dont watch

    December 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Matt

    If they're going to ban Jersey shore, might as well ban all those reality shows. Go read a book. No seriously go read one.
    Also, if you go to any other country and compare TV shows... We have the dumbest.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  100. T.K.

    I just wish all of the idiots watching this show would realize that every single cast member except for one is from NEW YORK, not New Jersey.

    The show is an exagguration of reality. But it's being from New Jersey and also being Italian-American, I'm not offended. Reality being multiplied to create a falsehood is, unfortunately, what entertainment is all about these days when it comes to reality television.

    Unfortunately MTV didn't go out of their way to pound home the fact that only one of the people on the show is actually from New Jersey. That's what bothers me, aside from the fact that people are stupid enough to assume they are all from New Jersey thanks to the title of the show.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Jess

    I wonder if anyone has bothered to tell Senator Vitale that only one of the Jersey Shore cast members actually lives in NJ. The rest are just here on vacation. Maybe this isn't the best use of his time considering the current political climate in NJ.

    The environment portrayed on the show is really not that far from the truth. College-age kids rent houses down the shore every summer and seem to leave their common sense back at their parents' houses.

    I don't find this show offensive – it's just filled with stupid people.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  102. martian

    Maria – really – maybe you should have been casted then. Just as some others have said and the article itself, everything is fabricated – the sets, the tans, the dialogue and the 'real' situations (as opposed to the guy who couldn't answer any of Leno's questions). It's MTV – which has trouble producing anything worth more than wiping with toilet paper .

    December 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  103. g

    reality tv is LIE$. The S is a dollar sign to make my statement all the more cutting.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Eval

    The cast of "Jersey Shore" has ONE member from NJ. Perhaps the show would be better entitled "Staten Island Punks". That's the group being portrayed, not the real inhabitants of the vast majority of Jersey Shore towns. Trust, most people in this state abhor this group and wish they would just stay home and wallow in their cheap-cologne and hair gel.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Joel T.

    Never been to Jersey... Come to think of it – Don't really care to GO to Jersey.

    My problen with this whole thing is that MTV thinks they can do what ever they want WHENEVER they want.

    I am from the first generation of MTV viewers and I am DISGUSTED by the stuff they call entertainment. If the parents would block that channel and their viewership went in to a dead tailspin – Maybe just MAYBE MTV would rethink their programming and go back to what
    made them popular back in the day... VIDEOS.

    MTV is now nothing more than MORON TELEVISION.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Tim

    "Reality tv" has nothing to do with reality and anyone who thinks it does is a patsy (oops, guess I just made a slur against the Irish).

    December 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Luke Alberts

    All of this attention for what's basically an inconsequential show. How is the cast of Jersey Shore different than any other group of self-centered young people? If they're okay referring to each other as "guido" or some other insult, than it's really the each viewer's choice as whether to watch. Alyssa Milano could better lend her fame to rescuing more endangered animals or whatever cause she advocates.

    December 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  108. Kim

    This show is horrible! I watched the show once and had to turn it off! I am from New Jersey and this show and the idiots on it make us all look like morons. I love New Jersey and the Jersey Shore it is a wonderful place to live and going down the Shore is the best! This show is ruining that for anyone who has not been there. New Jersey had a bad enough reputation already, this just adds to it!

    December 24, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  109. Kevin

    keep it up Senator and all we'll have on TV is PBS style documentaries and re-runs of Little House on the Prairie. That show didn't offend anyone did it? Can't be too careful these days.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  110. Nina

    Agreed with above. I've been to Jersey many times, not all Italian-Americans out there are like this, not many at all. But, as depicted on the show, there are some. Just go to Seaside Heights in the summertime, and see for yourself. I think people should get over it and stop looking at it as such a group issue and more as maybe these certain people need to change their ways. They are offending their own race.....

    December 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Sheri

    I understand the objections, but please give the rest of us credit for being able to NOT stereotype.

    I have Italian relatives who are not like this at all. I also have a college education. This means that I take the show for what it is: one summer in the lives of young people who happen to be Italian. I suspect that many viewers fall into one or both of those categories, so, again, PLEASE give us credit for having brains and hearts.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Mark

    Speaking as someone who lived for 21 years in New Jersey (and will never return), "Jersey Shore" tells it like it is. The politicians in New Jersey may not like the unflattering portrayal, but that's because they haven't taken a good hard look at themselves in the mirror.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  113. pixelpusher

    The truth hurts, doesn't it Senator?

    Where was Joseph Vitale's outrage when Sascha Baron Cohen was lampooning Eastern Europeans, American Southerners and gay people?

    Not all Eastern Europeans are stupid. Not all Southerners are racist. Not all gay people are flamboyant.

    And not all Italian-Americans are guidos.

    You can always turn the channel Senator.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  114. vida


    I don't think you read the article. These are hired actors and actresses this is not their real life. So yes people are PAYING them to act that way, and it's offensive. I'm not italian but I spent my childhood years in New Jersey and often frequent there to visit family and friends, and my friends of Italian decent are not be represented by that ridiculous show.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Michele

    I find this whole "outrage/outcry" against the show hysterical. It's a TV show...get over it. I don't even look at the castmates from the standpoint of them being Italian-American...I look at them from the standpoint of being residents of NJ...and for anyone who has ever been to the Jersey Shore..well, they're pretty much telling it like it is frankly. I find the show hysterical that people actually still act this way. That and the retro 80's hairdos are worth a few good laughs as well.
    Their behavior is a direct reflection on their upbringing, regardless of their nationalities. And frankly, I'm just tired of people forcing others to be "PC." C'mon, if we can't poke fun at ourselves and have a good laugh, who can we poke fun at? Lighten up, have a few laughs and just get over it. Don't we have more important things to be focused on right now than a friggin stupid MTV reality show? Like the crappy healthcare bill that got passed this morning??

    December 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Bill

    If you don't like what you see, change the channel. It's as simple as that. If parents did their job and people were responsible, censorship of any kind – on any level – wouldn't be necessary.

    And I am saying this as someone who absolutely despises reality TV and the fake concoctions created by MTV. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean I want to see it censored.

    Why should entertainment options be limited or altered or censored just to maintain the kid friendly/house wife friendly day time programming status quo? In the end, if you don't like what you see or hear, DON'T LOOK OR LISTEN. Change yourself before trying to change the world.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Bob

    Weird a politician representing New Jersey who has obviously never actually BEEN to New Jersey... "The subculture depicted in ‘Jersey Shore’ is one created solely by MTV Networks"? What? I've seen thousands of these kind of jerks, it's not like their some weird uncommon group, how else would Ed Hardy stay in business?

    December 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  118. Ron

    This is the reality of the Jersey Shore. A large subculture of people who flock to that area spike their hair, fake tan, take pro-hormones and pump their fists.

    Equating the term Guido to other racial pejoratives is irresponsible and denies the unique social and historical implications that each ethnic and/or cultural group faces.

    MTV is merely documenting what has been in long standing phenomenon from that area.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Sarah

    Just another thing people complain about when they can change the channel.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  120. joe m

    time and again it has been proven that when a camera, or recording device is pointed at someone, they act very differently. there has even been a study that revealed that when men and women think they are being watched, they walk and carry themselves very differently. so to say that this is the way these young people behave regularly misses the point that in real life they don't have a camera pointed at them.

    these kinds of shows take advantage of the fact that people will watch a spectacle. it is akin to the rubber-necking that happens when people see a car accident. sadly, most are just unable to veer their view from a train wreck happening before their eyes.

    lastly, the saddest part of this all is that these people are so desparte for attention that they are willing to degrade themselves. in the long run, these individuals will have to assess what they've done to themselves and deal with life after their 15 mintues of infamy expires ande retturn to the life of the nobody that they were to begin with.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  121. Jason

    It's hard to consider this a reality show, when the producers tell the cast where to hang out, what to do, who to talk to, what to discuss, the producers start rumors to create conflict, etc. This show is just as fake as their spray tans, and every move they make was decided ahead of time. I have to agree with Alyssa Milano and the NJ politician: this really does make me think of the "jersey shore" types exactly as they are portrayed on this show. Then again, I think shows like The Hills aren't any better, and portrays all L.A. residents as vapid morons.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  122. tom

    A friend of mine went to high school with Mike "The Situation" and said that his TV personality is almost identical to his real personality, so maybe the show isn't as far-fetched as you might think.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  123. andy

    "They live this way knowing there on national television. "

    They're on television, not there television. Saying that it seems like the Italian Americans from the New Jersey area are very similar to that is offensive, ridiculous and uninformed. Half of those jokers aren't even from New Jersey!

    December 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  124. Odin in L.A.

    Seriously... I mean, seriously....

    December 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  125. maria

    I understand he is upset, I personally dont care for the show. But nobody is making these people act that way. Obviously this is everyday life for these young Italian American people. They live this way knowing there on national television. Maybe the parents of these young Italian American children will raise them better seeing the result of these young people and hopfully that will change the youth in that Italian part of the country. Im sure not all Italian Americans are like this but It seems that the Italian Americans in this part of the country are very similar.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |

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