Italian American One Voice Coalition asks if MTV and Viacom have corporate mandate against Italian Americans

Dec 27, 2018 384

BY: Andre DiMino

The Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition (“ONE VOICE”), America’s largest independent Italian American anti-bias organization, is asking MTV and Viacom officials if they have a corporate mandate to denigrate and malign Italian Americans. This comes from the announcement of MTV’s newest reality series “Made in Staten Island” to premiere next month.

According to MTV’s own description, “Made in Staten Island” follows a group of young Staten Island, New York hustlers as they work to step out from the shadows of the once mob-driven island. These friends will either choose wisely or fall prey to the mistakes of past generations. “Here we go again,” stated Andre’ DMino, ONE VOICE Communications Director. “Wasn’t the damage done by ‘Jersey Shore’ enough? Can’t MTV and Viacom stop their repeated maligning of Italian Americans. I thought the ‘M’ was for MUSIC - it should be MALIGN TV.”

The new series ordered by Viacom unit MTV is purported to be a coming-of-age series following eight young Staten Islanders as they flaunt worn-out mob and mafia stereotypes in exposing their exploits.

“We all know that producers of these pseudo-reality shows stoke their reality ‘actors’ into hyper-inflated portrayals of themselves to foment mob and mafia stereotypes for their 15 minutes of infamy,” continued DiMino. “It just repeats the negative bias and stereotype against Italian Americans - if your name ends in a vowel you must be a mobster or mafioso. What a complete disgrace!”

Before and during its run on MTV, DiMino was the leading opponent of MTV’s Jersey Shore for its negative portrayal of Italian Americans. Representing a cadre of opposition from Italian Americans from across the country, DiMino met with Viacom and MTV officials at Viacom headquarters in New York to address the issue during Jersey Shore’s second season. A wide array of advertisers pulled their ads from Jersey Shore as a result of the backlash, although the show continued for several years and was a hit for the network.

“You see, that’s the problem,” stated DiMino. “MTV specifically targets the youth demographic. These blown-up reality shows implant in millions of young minds the perception that Italian Americans equal mobsters and Mafiosi or bimbos and buffoons. And, as we know, perception becomes reality. It is just not fair to all the decent, hard-working, law-abiding Italian Americans across the US, and now especially in Staten Island.”

MTV is the leading youth media brand, in nearly 180 countries and 450 million homes around the world, connecting with over 350 million fans across all social media platforms. A unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), MTV operations span cable, mobile networks and live events.

ONE VOICE is different from all other Italian American groups in that its sole focus and objective is to educate and fight bias, stereotyping and discrimination against Italian Americans. ONE VOICE’s stated mission is to “…secure the rightful representation of Americans of Italian origin and of all peoples whose paths toward social equality have been impeded. The powers of intellect, wisdom and due process of law will be brought to bear on all inequities.”

ONE VOICE issues a regular email newsletter, “The Alfano Digest,” to more than 5,000 individuals and Italian American organizations nationwide. Written and compiled by Dr. Manny Alfano, Founder and President of ONE VOICE, the Digest issues alerts on instances of bias, stereotyping, discrimination and defamation and activates the ONE VOICE nationwide network of “Defenders” who respond through calls, emails, faxes, letters and demonstrations where necessary. The Digest also contains informative Italian American cultural and heritage information. To receive the Digest, email Dr. Alfano - mannyalfano@comcast.net.

To join or obtain more information on ONE VOICE visit iaovc.org.

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