MTV apologizes for Jersey Shore reunion “tranny” mocking

MTV has apologized for a scene on Jersey Shore reunion during which its host, Julissa Bermudez, and several cast members referred to a person Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino encountered at a club as a “tranny,” a scene the Gay and Lesbian Alliance said became “one of the most blatantly transphobic scenes aired anywhere on television in the last few years.”

MTV said in a statement to the organization, “We appreciate GLAAD voicing concern about the ‘Jersey Shore’ reunion special. The segment in question was certainly not meant to be insensitive, but in retrospect we realize that it was offensive to some viewers. We sincerely apologize.” GLAAD said that “MTV has also invited GLAAD representatives to a meeting as an opportunity for MTV to become better educated on transgender issues” and “has offered to update the Jersey Shore reunion special for any future encores that air after the current repeat cycle ends on 11/4.”

Last week, GLAAD noted that “the instance was made much worse by both the show’s host and producers, who intercut with shots of cast member Ronnie Ortiz-Magro wearing a dress and MTV’s own footage of a large man in a bikini and a Halloween mask in an attempt to add more ‘humorous’ context,” including the host mocking Ronnie.

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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.