Fox News, America's premiere source of faux outrage, talked to several Italian-American groups knowing full well they would have something dramatic to say. And they did. Here's what Richard F. Pellegrino, president of the Italian American Political Coalition, said:
Whether filmed in Italy or on the moon, the characters of Jersey Shore do not reflect a realistic image of the Italian American Community..."Entertainment" is in the eye of the beholder.
Joseph V. Del Raso, president of The National Italian American Foundation, also chimed in.
We are disappointed that this irresponsible programming will be brought to Italy because it affects the image of all Americans, not only Italian Americans. There is a perverse curiosity in wanting to watch the show and the Italian audience, like the American audience, may be attracted to the show out of curiosity. But we know that the Italians' good taste will immediately recognize this genre of programming for what it's worth.
We can agree with both men that sending these eight marauding messes overseas certainly isn't going to do anything to help the perception that American tourists are loud, obnoxious, and overbearing, but foreigners are going to think that about the cast of this show whether it's filmed in Italy or America and then shipped elsewhere. And where were these people when the Real Househarpies of New Jersey took their families to Italy and caused scenes in several tourist traps? Why weren't they pissed about the negative image that those women—many of them full-blooded Italians, unlike the Jersey Shore cast—were creating?
As we learned when the cast traveled to Miami, Jersey Shore is not about a place or ethnicity. It's a culture. A state of mind. And while it may borrow elements of Italian-American culture, it's also pretty far removed from it. If these groups are worried that the public will see Snooki and The Situation and think that everyone who has a drop of Italian in them behaves like that, then they need to worry more about the stupidity of the human race rather than the image of one particular ethnic group.