some offended folks spoke up about the promos for MTV's new reality show, Jersey Shore. In one corner, you have UNICO, allegedly the largest Italian-American service organization in the U.S.; in the other corner you have MTV, a network promoting a reality show in which the cast members refer to themselves as "guidos" and "guidettes." UNICO is aiming to stop the show from airing, after seeing the promos that tout: "the hottest, tannest, craziest Guidos" that "keep their hair high, their muscles juiced and their fists pumping all summer long!"
MTV has now released a statement saying, in part, "The Italian-American cast takes pride in their ethnicity. We understand that this show is not intended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture."
Staten Island cast member Mike Sorrentio says he doesn't see anything objectionable with the show, adding, "I just happen to be 100 percent Italian, I happen to be in very good shape and my hair happens to be spiky. When I look in the mirror, I feel good. It's not necessarily a stereotype; it's just how it is. In New York and New Jersey, that just happens to be the style. Is there a dictionary definition of how Italian-Americans should be portrayed?" (Quick, related commentary courtesy Videogum: "personally, I think that giving douchebags TV shows only empowers them. And if we keep empowering them at this rate, they will soon become too empowerful, and we will no longer be able to emcontain them.")
UNICO still wants the show canceled, saying, "No ethnic group should be treated this way. Just because these young people refer to each other this way [as 'Guidos'] doesn't make it proper." Incidentally, we noticed MTV changed "guidos" to "housemates" in their promo recently.