UNICO National, Order of the Sons of Italy in America and the National Italian American Foundation condemned the show, which debuted Thursday night, for using "ethnic slurs, violence and poor behavior to marginalize and stereotype Italian-Americans."
"It's worse than I imagined," UNICO National President Andre DiMino said in a statement after watching the show. "MTV has festooned the 'bordello-like' house set with Italian flags and red, white and green maps of New Jersey while every other cutaway shot is of Italian signs and symbols. They are blatantly as well as subliminally bashing Italian-Americans with every technique possible. ... (The cast members) are an embarrassment to themselves, their heritage and their families."
DiMino said he is urging UNICO National members across the United States and all supporting organizations to immediately contact sponsors of "Jersey Shore" and ask them to withdraw their advertising from the series and MTV.
"UNICO was founded in 1922 to positively counteract discrimination against Italian-Americans," DiMino said. "Here we are 87 years later and companies like Sony, Macy's and Best Buy are sponsoring it. What a disgrace!"
New Jersey State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-28, also expressed his displeasure with MTV for airing the show.
"The show is an attack on Italian-Americans altogether and its end result is stereotyping," Caputo said. "One would like to think that MTV would have higher programming standards than this."