Elected officials and community members rallied against the upcoming reality show “Brooklyn 11223″ this afternoon, lambasting the show as demeaning to women and calling on the Oxygen network to take it off the air.
Councilman Vinnie Gentile, who organized the event, told The Politicker the show “hit such a nerve in Bay Ridge and we had such a reaction from the locals that they wanted an avenue, a way, to speak out.”
And speak out they did. Carlo Scissura, representing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, took the largest broadside to the network for hosting the show.
“What amazes me is the hypocrisy of this network. This is a network that brands itself as looking out for the interests of women, and yet they do something that completely disparages women, particularly Italian-American women,” he said, before calling for the community to rise up. “If the show’s filming in one of the restaurants, stop going there, period. If the show’s coming out here and they’re wrecking the streets or taking up parking spots, call the police.”
State Senator Diane Savino echoed these sentiments. ”There seems to be a prevalence among some of the producers in Hollywood to consistently target Italian-American women, and portray us in the most negative light,” she told The Politicker before she took the stage. “And what’s even more distressing is Italian-American women are participating in this.”
“The American public has been almost conditioned to believe Italian-Americans are all either stupid, loveable characters like Joey on ‘Friends,’ or we’re mobsters like we are on ‘The Sopranos,’ or we’re basically young women who have no morals and are willing to degrade ourselves in public,” she continued. “It’s enough.”
And, as many of the rally’s attendees pointed out, the show’s professed zip code is not even close to the Bay Ridge neighborhood the show claims to represent.
This is not the first reality show controversy in this corner of New York City. Ms. Savino once rallied against the “Jersey Shore” star Snooki making an appearance at the Staten Island Mall, while Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny told The Politicker “Brooklyn 11223″ was similar to another recent controversial show, “Russian Dolls,” centered in another part of his southern Brooklyn district.
For their part, NBC Universal, which owns the Oxygen network, reached out to The Politicker in order to announce potential viewers can watch the show on March 26th (hint, hint) and make up their own minds.
“Viewers can decide for themselves on March 26 when the story of ‘Brooklyn 11223′ begins to unfold and we meet this authentic group of friends set against the vibrant backdrop of the great and diverse Borough of Brooklyn,” they wrote in a statement.
Watch the rally below: