Italian-American group says Growing Up Gotti “reinforces negative stereotypes.”

Italian-American group says Growing Up Gotti “reinforces negative stereotypes.”
One sure sign that a reality TV show is doing well (or will do well) is the negative attention its receiving, and Growing Up Gotti is now getting its due. The A&E show is the target of the National Italian American Foundation, which says, “once again this reinforces negative stereotypes of members of the Italian American community. Once again, Italian Americans are seen as either bums, bigots, or buffoons who are semi-literate and cannot put together a coherent sentence, and whose behavior is in no way representative of the behavior, values, and mores of the vast number of Americans of Italian descent.” The statement from the organization’s chair, Frank J. Guarini, also says, “The boorish, thuggish, disrespectful behavior evidenced by the sons on the show is in no way indicative of young Italian Americans.” The group also promises to break the knees of anyone who watches the show.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.