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''Jersey Shore'' angers the Italian-American community

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Never before has the (over)use of hair gel been so controversial. MTV’s latest reality series, Jersey Shore, which premiered on Dec. 3 and focuses on eight Italian-American twentysomethings in a New Jersey summer share, has caused an outcry from advocacy groups offended by the series — specifically the cast’s use of the terms ”Guido” and ”Guidette.” André DiMino, president of UNICO, the nation’s largest Italian-American service organization, fumes, ”They should have called the show Bimbos and Buffoons of the Beach.” In a statement, MTV responded, ”Our intention was never to stereotype, discriminate, or offend.” The network has showcased Jersey Shore culture before in its True Life documentary series, which was met with little outrage at the time, but both Domino’s Pizza and American Family Insurance decided to pull their advertising from Shore (though not from MTV itself). One self-identified ”Guido” in the cast says Shore, which drew a so-so 1.4 million viewers in its initial airing, is all in good fun. ”We just happen to be a bunch of kids that are working, living, and partying together,” says Mike ”The Situation” Sorrentino. ”It’s no harm against anybody else.” And given that the show is MTV’s most talked-about new series in years — it’s already spawned catchphrases like ”I invented the freakin’ poof” — it’s safe to say critics are gonna have to get used to this situation.

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