Monday, December 14, 2009
I'm tired as hell today, but for good reason. I was up late last night watching the battle between the EAGLES and the Giants. It was a great game, and in case you missed it...here are the highlights. GO EAGLES!!!
Now...on to the blog.
At Rameer's suggestion, I watched a couple episodes of MTV's new series Jersey Shore. All I can say is, that show is a hot ass mess! Spiked hair, spray on tans, deep "joisy" accents...the epitome of the "guido" stereotype at its finest. Here are a couple of clips if you haven't seen it:
Now, I don't normally watch shows like this - no matter who the people are. I didn't watch Flavor of Love. I didn't watch I Love New York. I didn't watch Rock of Love, Tila Tequila, Daisy, Chance or any other buffoonery on tv. It's just not my thing. I can see their "train wreck" entertainment value, but I just never seem to get into it. And Jersey Shore will be no exception.
What I find interesting is Italian American organizations are all upset at how Italian Americans are portrayed in Jersey Shore. And I can't say that I blame them. But I think most of us know that not ALL Italian Americans are like that, just as I'd hope that most people would know that not all Black people behave like the idiots on Flavor of Love.
But here is my question of the day - should EVERYONE cry foul when we see stereotypical shows exploiting a certain group/race of people? Or are we only responsible for speaking out when it affects just OUR group/race?
I don't recall hearing about any Italian American organizations being upset at how Black people are portrayed in the media. I don't hear about any Asian organizations being upset about how Latinos are portrayed in the media. Or vice versa. Whenever there's an outcry over race or stereotypes in the media, it's usually Black people upset over how Blacks are portrayed, or Latinos upset over how Latinos are stereotyped, or women upset over how women are viewed, or gay people upset over how gay people are depicted.
That's not to say that there isn't some cross over. There are some who stand up for others when it comes to how we're all portrayed in movies and on tv. But for the most part, I rarely hear of any non-people-of-color groups coming to African Americans' defense when a show like I Love New York comes on, or Cops for that matter. There are rarely any non-people-of-color organizations screaming that there needs to be more Asian representation on tv, or that Latinos aren't all gang members or illegal "aliens." After all, there are SO many shows on tv that show us as drug addicts, prostitutes, pimps, maids, non-English speaking, convenience store owning, cab driving people. Yet, no one seems to care about that...not even "us."
But ONE show about a bunch of young Italians spending their summer at the Jersey shore has people upset. It's "wrong." It's perpetuating a stereotype. And guess what else? It was bound to happen.
It was only a matter of time before this type of stereotyping trickled down to "other" groups. Did they think they'd be immune to it forever? I'm not surprised by it, because people love to watch this type of nonsense. It's train wreck tv - and if it can work for one group or race of people, then certainly it can work for another. MTV is spreading the wealth, and the shock value of it all is translating into ratings. No matter who is upset, people are watching.
So, back to my question - should we even care about shows like this anymore? And if we do care about how people are depicted in the media, do we speak up for EVERYONE, or just our "own?" Are we our brother's keeper, or should "they" just get over it?
Curious to read your thoughts on this - let's go!