We wrote a blog last week about MTV’s monstrosity “Jersey Shore,” and we said (joking) that we’d like to hunt down the executive who greenlit the show.
Well, New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi has done the legwork for us. In her column Tuesday, Italian American Stasi says that a fellow Italian American is responsible for the reality show, which was shot in Seaside Heights, N.J.
The executive is Tony DiSanto, MTV’s president of programming. Talk about a traitor to one’s own kind.
DiSanto is not taking calls from the press.
We have met Stasi, a talented writer whose columns are often laugh-out-loud funny. She is also pretty and very gracious and down to earth. We were waiting to see her weigh in on “Jersey Shore,” which critics claim slurs and stereotypes Italian Americans, painting them as “guidos,” a derogatory term.
Stasi did not find anything funny about “Jersey Shore.”
She wrote that the show’s moronic participants were “degrading and debasing themselves — and, by extension, all Italian-Americans — and furthering the popular TV notion that Italian-Americans are gel-haired, thuggish, ignoramuses with fake tans, no manners, no diction, no taste, no education, no sexual discretion, no hairdressers (for sure)…and no ambition beyond expanding steroid- and silicone-enhanced bodies into sizes best suited for floating over Macy’s on Thanksgiving.”
She added that a show like this about African Americans, Asians, Hispanics or Jewish people would never be allowed on the air.
Now tell us how you really feel, Linda. We happen to agree with her.
We’re not Italian American, but we grew up in north Jersey, “Sopranoland,” and (we know it’s a cliche) some of our best friends are Italians. We know and love their culture. One friend Donna, who we’ve known since we were eight, has a Master’s Degree and works for foreign agricultural aid in D.C. Her brother is a brain surgeon.
“Jersey Shore” does not do them, and their immigrant backgrounds, any justice.
Italian American groups are calling for MTV to cancel the show, and according to The New York Times, at least one advertiser, Domino’s Pizza, has already pulled its ads from “Jersey Shore.”
In its debut last Thursday “Jersey Shore” drew a 1.3 rating in MTV’s key demo of 12- to 24-year-olds. It had an audience of 1.4 million total viewers, according to MTV.
We are waiting to see if MTV and DiSanto — and MTV honcho Judy McGrath, one of the smartest and most sensitive executives we know — will do the right thing and pull the plug on “Jersey Shore.”