In the Limelight: MTV’s Jersey Shore Sparks Protest

By: Tiffani Haynes

The Guidos and Guidettes of MTV’s new show, Jersey Shore, are causing quite the uproar. Many Italian-American citizens, companies and groups are outraged at the portrayal of the demographic.

Jersey Shore follows eight Italian-Americans who have moved to Seaside Heights, New Jersey to enjoy the boardwalk life. The show is similar to MTV’s longest-running reality show, The Real World, and premiered last week. Yet many Italian-Americans are upset by the stereotypes used in the show, specifically the self-appointed term “guidos and guidettes” that the young cast of the show often uses.

Executive Director Tony DiSanto spoke to TV Guide about the term some view as offensive.

“I understand that it is considered a derogatory term by certain people. I don’t see it that way, since I don’t think of ‘guido’ to mean Italian-Americans across the board,” DiSanto said. “Not all these kids are fully Italian-American; it’s more about a specific character type. We actually did pull the word ‘guidos’ from voiceover and descriptions of the show [due to the protests]. However, if they refer to themselves that way, we let that exist as is.”

Check out a trailer of the show

 

Though sponsors such as Domino’s, American Family Insurance and UNICO have pulled their advertising from the show, MTV has stood by the show and said they don’t plan to change it. DiSanto stated that the show, just like any other show, isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of other shows to watch.

Well, take that sponsors. MTV’s putting their money where their mouth is.

What do you think? Offensive or just plain ridiculous?

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