For us, the viewing public, Jersey Shore is the Platonic ideal of train-wreck television, but for MTV, the network that's trying to profit from it, the show is looking like more of a disaster with paltry ratings and advertiser headaches.
Before the show even started Italian-America groups were up in arms about it, and after the premiere, Dominos pizza pulled its advertising as did American Family Insurance. It's probably a smart move, since everyone is pissed off and only 1.4 million people watched the premiere last Thursday.
Then, a clip of our number one girl Snooki getting punched in the face taken from a promo of upcoming episodes made its way around the internet, pissing off a bunch of people, including our friends at Jezebel.
Now MTV is trying to clean up the pharmaceutical waste that washed up on its Shore. MTV's programming president Tony DiSanto (who's just coincidentally Italian-American) is giving interviews in defense of the show. He made some interesting points about the show when he spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, clarifying the network's stance on using the term "guido" in its marketing of the show.
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. 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.
To diffuse the Snooki bomb (what could you do to make the real Snooki simmer down?), the show will air an anti-violence PSA after next week's episode that includes the pun that says, "Violence against women in any form is a crime," and pointing viewers in abusive relationships to the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline.
Will this be enough to keep advertisers and retain viewers? Not that we condone hating Italian-Americans or punching girls in the face in a bar, we certainly hope so, because we still can't wait for this show to air its second episode tonight at 10. We're so excited, we'll be live blogging it here on Gawker. See you then! We promise no Snookis will be harmed during the live blog.