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Just hours after MTV announced that the cast of its hit show Jersey Shore will be returning for a second season, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) issued a press release, expressing “continued concerns” about the show. Although the NIAF praised MTV for discontinuing the use of “the offensive word ‘guido’ in voice-overs and promotional spots,” the press release called for further action. The NIAF wants MTV to make clear that the term “guido” transcends ethnic lines and is instead descriptive of a “youthful expression and lifestyle predominantly visible in the Northeast.” Additionally, the NIAF objects to Jersey Shore‘s billing as a reality show, because of its heavy editing and scripted segments.
Although MTV has yet to respond to the release, the cast members addressed their possible perpetuation of Italian American stereotypes on The Today Show Monday morning. Mike Sorrentino (a.k.a. “The Situation”) seemed to speak for the group, saying:
We represent ourselves. We’re not saying we’re a definition of Jersey, or a definition of New York, or a definition of Italians. I just happen to be Italian. I happen to have some spiky hair and a six-pack, and I am proud to have that. And if you don’t like me, I don’t care. I still get 5 million viewers Thursday nights at 10p.m.
– Kate Thornton
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