'Made In Staten Island': Locals feel new MTV reality show is 'another black eye' for the borough, glorifies teenage crime
The upcoming MTV reality show 'Made in Staten Island,' received backlash from Staten Islanders who called the show "embarrassing" and misrepresenting
MTV's Staten Island-based show is slated to debut January 14, but the reality series has already been a topic of controversy, especially among Staten Islanders who are fed up with their borough being a center of the media's attention, and not necessarily for the right reasons.
From 'Mob Wives,' to 'Jersey Shore,' the place with a notorious reputation of being a mafia haven in the past, hasn't altered its reputation this decade and the locals have a plethora of reality series to blame. The upcoming show, 'Made in Staten Island,' isn't any different from its predecessors according to the islanders and it isn't focusing on what the 'Forgotten Borough' has to offer, besides the stereotypical portrayal of violence and drama.
City councilman Joe Borelli, who represents Staten Island’s south shore, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the latest installation, which is MTV's fifth Staten Island series. Suffice to say he wasn't thrilled. "This can't be serious," he wrote and went on to call the show "embarrassing," before concluding he does not know what else to say.
This can’t be serious.— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) December 19, 2018
This is embarrassing.
I don’t even know what to say.https://t.co/yw56b9AlF6
Several other islanders chimed in to agree with the councilman and accused the upcoming iteration of glorifying crime among teenagers. The common belief was that MTV is committed to worsen the reputation of the island by misrepresenting it in the first place.
This sort of show could actually be approached in a serious way and serve to minimize stereotyping, but given MTV’s history, this will doubtless worsen everything.— Bill (@Cavaturaccioli) December 19, 2018
If they wanted to really depict Staten Island, they should show everyone whining about traffic, discuss the importance of wearing no jacket in the mall, & the rule of leasing a pricey car just to park in front of Angelina’s & Marina cafe in the summer— Antonella212 (Instagram) (@NYorNothing) December 21, 2018
Tired of SI being depicted negatively .We have so much to be proud of and so many great accomplishments and contributions that should be portrayed— James Pistilli (@jimptweetme) December 20, 2018
Another Black eye for Staten Island! Does not truly depict SI at all!!— Lenny Booch (@Booch1018) December 21, 2018
Now let's see. Go on the straight and narrow road, or go down the wrong road where bad decisions and crime make for better tv ratings. Cannot roll my eyes enough.— Carol Matuszak (@carol_matuszak) December 19, 2018
Calling the show "another black eye," islanders seemed to have lost their cool and blatantly blamed the teens for trying to act like a "mob" for television.
These kids wouldn't know what the Mob is or anything related to it if they lived with a diffrent acting boss of 1 of the 5 families everyday— Dave G (@TheTekFanatic) December 19, 2018
Surrounded by the mob their whole life lol it’s so laughable. Someone tell them just bc a guy is wearing a FILA tracksuit with a gaudy huge chain & a bucket of gel on their head, doesn’t mean they’re in the mafia... dress for the job u want is the motto 😝— Antonella212 (Instagram) (@NYorNothing) December 21, 2018
My 2 boys are SAG members from childhood movies they both did ! Ones an engineer now the other a PharmD ! They both work so hard for what they achieved ! You will never see a reality show about young men that actually are more mature than a good population of this island— mari (@marijuku230) December 20, 2018
In a recent interview, Borelli expressed: "Look, I think we’re a unique bunch of people, and we can’t take ourselves too seriously and we can all have a laugh, I think the problem with this show is it’s glorifying a life of crime amongst teenagers."
'Made in Staten Island' comes from the star of 'Mob Wives,' Karen Gravano, who is also the daughter of former Gambino crime family underboss Sammy 'The Bull Gravano. The reality show follows the lives of seven individuals 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," reads MTV’s series description.
The reality stars of several Staten Island shows are no stranger to harsh criticism from the locals. While the reality series based on New York City's southernmost borough do exceptionally well with regards to national TV ratings, it can never be good enough for the locals who feel misrepresented.
"At the end of the day, we’re not trying to represent everybody, we’re just trying to represent ourselves," Gravano said about the backlash in a recent interview. "That just comes with the whole territory of being on TV or being famous. People love to talk about something just to talk," she concluded.