Jersey Shore is raising hackles in the Jersey state capitol.
The New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus says the show is "wildly offensive" and promotes derogatory ethnic stereotypes, according to The Associated Press. New Jersey state Sen. Joseph Vitale, a Woodbridge Democrat and the caucus' chairman, sent a letter Tuesday to Viacom, MTV's parent company, asking that Jersey Shore be taken off the air immediately, the news agency reports.
The lawmakers has also urged advertisers to boycott the show. Jersey Shore — about eight self-proclaimed "guidos" and "guidettes" living in a rented beach house in Seaside Heights, N.J. — has already lost three advertisers since its premiere: Domino's Pizza, American Family Insurance and Dell.
UNICO, the largest Italian American service organization in the U.S, has been pressuring MTV to cancel the series since before its Dec. 3 premiere because of its negative portrayal of Italian Americans. Despite — or maybe because of — Jersey Shore's controversy, the show's ratings have risen dramatically from 1.3 million viewers for its debut to 2.5 million viewers for the show's most recent episode.