The Stigma Surrounding Reality Television
ENG 122: English Composition II
April 17, 2011
The word moral is defined as an act of relating to, expressing, or teaching principles of right and wrong in behavior (Moral 2011). The word value is defined as relative worth, utility, or importance in oneself (Value 2011) The word reality is defined as a real event, entity, or state of affairs; the totality of real things and events (Reality 2011). In today’s society reality television has such a great influence over the younger generation, and for the most part not in a positive way. The majority of the reality show programs shown on television showcase a lack of moral and values that are instilled in people from the time they are children.
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For example, grenades mean ugly girls or guys, guido or guidette is a pejorative term and reinforces negative stereotypes, (Harris, M., 2010), G.T.L is an acronym for gym, tan, and laundry, (Harris, M., 2010). A juice head gorilla (Anonymous, 2011) is described as male Italians that are tan, muscular, and tall, and D.T.F is an acronym for down to fornicate. Even before the reality show aired on MTV on December 9, 2009, organizations like The New Jersey Sons of Italy, NIAF, and the Unity Neighborliness Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity (UNICO), an Italian-American organization based in Fairfield, New Jersey, tried to get television network MTV to cancel the show, because of all the negative ways the show displays Italian-Americans and residents of the state of New Jersey (Anonymous, 2010). Residents of Seaside Heights, New Jersey are also appalled with the reality show, because they feel as though the show has brought a negative stigma to their city. They do not want people who are not Italian-Americans, or who do not live in New Jersey to think that all people who live there and are of Italian descent are what we are shown on television. A lot of people are asking why are the cast members even famous in the first place, because they do not do anything productive in their day-to-day life. New Jersey State Assembly man Ralph Caputo (D-28) also expressed