Jersey Shore Lawmaker Kicks More Sand in MTV’s Face

State senator also opens investigation into wages and taxes of "Shore" cast

By Brian Thompson and Hasani Gittens
|  Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009  |  Updated 3:08 PM PDT
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Jersey Shore Cast Responds to Show Controversy

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The "Jersey Shore" Cast

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Jersey Shore Cast Responds to Show Controversy

Snooki, Pauly D and The Situation respond to accusations that their show is offensive to the Italian-American community.
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New Jersey State Senator Joseph Vitale has become the latest person to jump on the anti-“Jersey Shore” show bandwagon -- and wants an investigation.

Vitale, who represents the 19th Legislative District, in coastal Middlesex County and is the chairman of the New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus, announced today that his caucus has sent a letter to MTV parent company Viacom asking them to cancel the controversial show.

“Saying that the young people on “Jersey Shore” represent all young Italian Americans is like saying “The Jerry Springer Show” represents responsible journalism,” said Senator Vitale.

And just to show how things operate in Jersey, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, at the request of Senator Vitale, opened an investigation into employment and wage practices, as well as the tax status of the “Shore Store” where cast members supposedly worked while filming the program.

“The image of young Italian Americans conducting themselves in a disrespectful and inappropriate manner at a summer home on the Shore may make for good ratings, but it’s a fabrication that damages our State and cultural reputations,” said the Vitale, a Democrat.

“Rather than profit off ethnic stereotypes and derogatory myths about Italian Americans, MTV and its parent company, Viacom, should do the socially responsible thing and pull the plug on “Jersey Shore.”
 
In addition to calling on Viacom to pull “Jersey Shore” off the air, the Italian American Legislative Caucus has also asked advertisers to boycott the bobble-headed show.

UNICO National, the largest Italian-American service organization in the country, has already called for a boycott of the show, with president Andre DiMino calling it "trash television."

Fellow Italian-American, MTV programming president Tony DiSanto has defended the show.

"I don't look at these characters as representing an entire ethnic group," he's said.

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