Amid Calls for Boycott: "Jersey Shore" Packs a Punch

MTV exec defends the show that has angered some in the Italian-American community

By Eric Luu
|  Friday, Dec 11, 2009  |  Updated 7:48 AM PDT
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Amid Calls for Boycott: "Jersey Shore" Packs a Punch

MTV.com

L to R: Nicole "Snookie," Jenni "J-Wow," Sammy "Sweetheart" "Eyyyyyy..."

MTV's "Jersey Shore" sure packs a punch...  in Snooki's face -- an upsetting scene that ought to do little to placate the show's growing critics.

A preview of tonight's episode showed a quick clip of Snooki, the "guidette" from Marlboro, N.Y. getting socked right in the face.

And the man who punched her in the face is reportedly a New York City school teacher.

The Post  identified the man who socked Snooki as Brad Ferro, a 24-year-old gym teacher from Deer Park, Long Island.

Ferror was drinking in the Beachcomber Bar & Grill in Seaside Heights, N.J., when he decked the dudette, according to the paper.

Dept. of Education officials say they've taken Ferro out of his north Queens Community High School and sent to a reassignment center while they investigate.

And although many people find the drama on the show entertaining, not everyone agrees. Andre DeMino, the president of Unico, an Italian-American service has repeatedly denounced the behavior of the eight housemates on the Jersey Shore, calling it "reprehensible and demeaning in all respects."

"I don't see any redeeming value in the show," DiMino told the New York Times. "They are an embarrassment to themselves and to their families."

Following the show premiere, MTV staffers have reportedly received threats.

"We understand that this show is not intended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture," MTV's spokesman told Fox News on Tuesday. "Our intention was never to stereotype, discriminate or offend."

Programming president at MTV, Tony DiSanto, defended the show saying that it never even crossed his mind that it was offensive.

When he asked whether it bothered him, he said, “To be 100 percent honest, no, even as an Italian American,” the president told the Hollywood Reporter. “I just wanted to be cautious about toning down the partying.”

He added, "I don't look at these characters as representing an entire ethnic group."

Even though the show is packed with silly antics, only 1.4 million viewers tuned in, which was nothing compared to the more than 10 million viewers who tuned in to watch Jon and Kate Gosselin's divorce announcement.

The show airs on MTV Thursdays at 10 p.m.

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