Press Release Headlines

UNICO National: 'VH1's My Big Friggin' Wedding Is a Big Racist Stereotype of Italian Americans'

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Nov. 9, 2010 — Describing the show as yet another disgraceful and disheartening chapter of Executive Producer SallyAnn Salsano's malicious exploitation and stereotyping of young Italian Americans for profit, UNICO National is asking VH1 to pull the plug on "My Big Friggin' Wedding."

"Stereotyping and slurring young Italian Americans means big, big bucks for bottom-feeder networks like MTV and VH1," said Andre' DiMino, UNICO's Chief Media Executive and immediate past National President. "No one does this better than Salsano, who's done more harm to the perception of young Italian Americans than everyone before her, combined."

Salsano's "495 Productions," that specializes in trashy reality programming, also produced MTV's infamous "Jersey Shore" series, which UNICO National successfully fought last year.

"It's hard to believe, but Salsano actually tops the damage she did to the Italian American community with 'Jersey Shore' with her newest pile of garbage on VH1," DiMino said. "Salsano sells out her ethnicity in a big way for her '30 pieces of silver.' The damage is especially insidious and malicious since it comes at the expense of young Italian Americans, who will endure these stereotypes for years to come."

"My Big Friggin' Wedding" is a "reality" show about 5 couples preparing for their wedding in the New Jersey area, and as DiMino notes, Salsano outdid herself to find the "… worst bunch of bad-acting, insipid individuals portraying themselves as trashy, drunken, low-class, bimbos and buffoons."

At least six of ten cast members are identified as Italian Americans, while two do not have their ethnicity identified and two others are identified as Haitian and Hispanic.

Of special note is "celebrity wannabe" Johnny DeCarlo, who in the past has blogged and appeared on a panel, defending the use of the pejorative term, "Guido," in "Jersey Shore."  "It appears Salsano paid him back for defending 'Jersey Shore' with an opportunity to disgrace himself before a much wider audience," DiMino said.

"DeCarlo, so desperate for his 15 minutes of fame, starts the show off explaining that he started dating his current fiance when he was married and she was engaged at the time with a child. She is now pregnant with his kid. But, she says, 'I'm really stressed out because I want to drink at my wedding so I need to pop the kid out before the wedding.' What class!" chided DiMino.

"It's particularly sad that it's Italian Americans prostituting themselves to make this show the next 'train wreck' for people to watch – and connect with Italian Americans," DiMino said, ending with a call to action:

"If you're Italian American or of any race or ethnicity and you don't stand for bigotry, please contact VH1 and its parent company, VIACOM, and express your disgust and lack of support for negative stereotypes by demanding they pull 'My Big Friggin' Wedding' off the air," DiMino stated.

UNICO National, founded in 1922, is America's largest Italian American service organization. Its volunteer members support charitable, educational, and community service projects while promoting Italian heritage and combating negative stereotyping.


Sebastian D'Elia
UNICO National Communications Director

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