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UNICO President Andre' DiMino Asks Tonight Show Host Jay Leno to Take Stand Against 'Jersey Shore'

Letter sent to Leno, an Italian-American, questions him for featuring cast of "Jersey Shore" on his show

FAIRFIELD, N.J., March 8, 2010 — UNICO National President Andre' DiMino today fired off a letter and email to returning Tonight Show host Jay Leno questioning his judgment for featuring the cast of the ethnic bashing, stereotyping show "Jersey Shore" on his show during his first week back.

"As President of the largest Italian American service organization in America and as a proud first-generation Italian American, I am extremely disappointed and upset that upon your return to the venerable Tonight Show you have included the cast of MTV's Italian-bashing series, 'Jersey Shore,' for your first week's lineup of guests," DiMino writes. "These miscreants and the disgraceful 'reality' show they represent are a major insult to, not only Italian Americans, but any respectable individual."

DiMino writes: "In addition to their blatant defamation and negative stereotyping of Italian Americans, this show promotes debauchery, drunkenness and violence, specifically towards women. You have been very supportive of your wife Mavis' efforts at supporting women's rights through a number of causes, so it is that much more surprising that you would welcome these people onto your show. With respect to your Italian heritage, your paternal grandparents came to this country from the Avellino region of Italy and your father, Angelo, was born here. So, can't you see that it is a slight to their memory to glorify these bimbos and buffoons who have made it their life's work to perpetuate negative stereotyping of Italian Americans?"

DiMino concluded his letter by asking Leno "to not contribute to the continued negative stereotyping and denigration of Italian Americans in the media. You can be a hero to the millions of Italian Americans who have had enough of being portrayed as mobsters and mafiosi, on the one hand, and in the case of Jersey Shore, as illiterate, moronic and obnoxious bimbos and buffoons. Please, Mr. Leno, do the right thing!"

UNICO National, the nation's largest Italian American service organization, with local chapters throughout the United States, was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1922. Its volunteer members support charitable, educational, and community service projects while promoting Italian heritage and combating negative stereotyping. For information or to join UNICO National, call 973-808-0035 or visit


Sebastian D'Elia

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