‘Made in Staten Island,’ an MTV Reality Show, Makes the Borough Look Bad, Critics Say | Modern Society of USA

‘Made in Staten Island,’ an MTV Reality Show, Makes the Borough Look Bad, Critics Say

‘Made in Staten Island,’ an MTV Reality Show, Makes the Borough Look Bad, Critics Say

First there was “Jersey Shore” on MTV and then “Mob Wives” on VH1.

Now another reality television series, set to debut on Monday, features a blend of both — and like its predecessors, it is drawing criticism that it stereotypes Italian-Americans.

“Bosses aren’t born, they’re ‘Made in Staten Island,’” MTV said in promotional materials for the show, “Made in Staten Island,” which the network described as “grittier and edgier” than its other reality shows.

“Made in Staten Island,” which tracks young adults trying to avoid mob lifestyles, has drawn the ire of city officials and thousands of people who signed an online petition calling for it to be canceled. The show perpetuates the notion that Staten Island is “a cesspool of gangsters, meatheads and low lives” and is premised on the idea that “kids from Staten Island all grow up surrounded by the mafia,” the petition said.

One of the show’s executive producers is Karen Gravano, a star of “Mob Wives” and the daughter of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, who was a hit man for John Gotti, the Gambino crime family boss, and later became a government informant. Ms. Gravano’s daughter Karina Seabrook, 19, is one of the stars of the show.

“A lot of us are faced with two options: the street life or the straight life,” says one of the show’s other stars, Christian Patterson, 20, in a preview. “Our crew was born in the streets, and now they’re looking for a way out.”

“They are stereotyping Italian-Americans on Staten Island as having a connection to criminal enterprises,” he continued. “If you named any other race, religion or creed, people would be upset about that.”

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