You would think that everything would be peachy at MTV’s Times Square offices after last week’s debut of Jersey Shore. Sure, it didn’t perform quite as well in the ratings as The City and The Hills did in their respective season premieres earlier this fall, but the sheer volume of chatter that this show attracted online likely means ratings are going to spike after this week’s episode airs. However, Fox News is reporting that all is not well at 1515 Broadway and that, *gasp*, MTV’s publicists have been receiving death threats (!) from groups of people who find the show’s portrayal of Italian-Americans demeaning.
According to inside sources at MTV, “The MTV building in Times Square was getting crazy threats and they are in the process of hiring more security and bodyguards.” These threats are allegedly coming from Italian-Americans who are taking offense to MTV airing a program in which the show’s cast — which, mind you, is made up exclusively of Italian-Americans — casually referring to themselves as “guidos” and “guidettes.” André DiMino, the president of Italian-American service organization Unico National, told the Times, “I don’t see any redeeming value in the show. [The cast members] are an embarrassment to themselves and to their families.”
While this may indeed be true, did DiMino ever think that the show’s eight incredibly well-tanned cast members might just be describing themselves with this kind of terminology as means to appropriate and reclaim a slang term that has previously been viewed through purely a derisive lens? In other words, could
Shnickers Snooki and the gang actually be closet intellectuals and potentially visionary pioneers for Italian-American rights? Guess we’ll have to wait for this week’s episode of Jersey Shore to find out!