Senate Joe Vitale is not a fan of the show “Jersey Shore” on MTV and he has sent a letter to Viacom calling for it to be canceled:
“The image of young Italian Americans conducting themselves in a disrespectful and inappropriate manner at a summer home on the Shore may make for good ratings, but it’s a fabrication that damages our State and cultural reputations,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “Rather than profit off ethnic stereotypes and derogatory myths about Italian Americans, MTV and its parent company, Viacom, should do the socially responsible thing and pull the plug on Jersey Shore. Not only is the program wildly offensive, but it diminishes the accomplishments and contributions of Italian Americans in New Jersey and across the nation.”
You can view the letter he sent here. He even gave an analogy with the Jerry Springer show:
“Saying that the young people on Jersey Shore represent all young Italian Americans is like saying The Jerry Springer Show represents responsible journalism,” said Senator Vitale. “From casting decisions to scenery to interactions between cast members, everything on Jersey Shore has been fabricated and manipulated, and not a representation of the ‘reality’ that MTV purports to document. The problem lies in the fact that, for the audiences that Jersey Shore is being marketed to, the overly-muscled, overly-tan caricatures of long-held ethnic stereotypes highlighted on the show may form the basis of ethnic generalizations that do a disservice to Italian Americans everywhere.”
Vitale isn’t just writing letters and press releases, he says the show breaks the law and wants an investigation:
Vitale says that the Italian American cast regularly uses derogatory terms such as “guido” and “guidette” when describing themselves. The use of those terms, Vitale says, violates Viacom’s own terms requiring a harassment-free workplace, as well as New Jersey’s tough laws on racial bias and ethnic discrimination.
At Vitale’s request, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development has opened an investigation into employment and wage practices, as well as the tax status of the “Shore Store” where cast members supposedly worked while filming the program.
I’ve asked many people how they feel about the show. Some say it’s just an MTV show, others find it funny and still some agree with Vitale and find it offensive. Personally, I found it as time I can never get back in my life and isn’t worth even watching, let alone the uproar it has caused. So what do you think? Do you watch the show? Should it be canceled? Or should Senator Vitale focus more on other issues that damage the reputation of our state as well.