MTV’s hit sensation “Jersey Shore” has legions of fans. Goodness knows, Montclair was overrun by them a few weeks ago, and the bedlam they created was enough to finally bring an end to already-beleaguered 501 Lounge. Earlier today, a panel of journalists, PR experts and Italian anti-defamation activists gathered at Seton Hall to debate whether the show hurts the reputation of New Jersey. Although Media Bistro’s PR blogger Jason Chupick worries about New Jersey’s long-term reputation and talked about how New Jersey could learn a little from the Mormons when it comes to brand management, there was much more talk about whether the show hurts Italian Americans.
UNICO National president Andre DiMino (above) says he knows of Italian Americans who actually get turned down for jobs because shows like “Sopranos” and “Jersey Shore” have made them look so bad. He also says he’s shocked that the National Organization for Women hasn’t publicly denounced the show for violence against women.
One Seton Hall student who attended the presentation pointed out that the show is really about another Jersey Shore stock character, the Benny, an acronym for Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, New York. The student hails from Tom River.
Star Ledger columnist Mark Dilonno faulted the participants in the show and wondered what had happened to the concept of dignity. “It’s us,” he said. “We’re doing it to ourselves.”
What do you think? Is “Jersey Shore” bad for Jersey? For Italians? For Bennys? For women?
Or should everybody just lighten up?