Jersey Shore is entering into its last season. While it may be over for The Situation, MTV’s record-smashing hit spawned a new crop of reality shows centered around the antics of various ethnic caricatures: Roma-Americans (American Gypsy), Iranian-Americans (Shahs of Sunset), Russian-Americans (Russian Dolls), Korean-Americans (K-Town), Hillbillies (Hillbilly Handfishin). So, is reality TV getting racist?
We call these shows out for playing up lazy stereotypes in an attempt to grab ratings. We think there is a real consequence to this. Most Americans don’t interact with the other ethnic groups on these shows very often, if at all. The last thing we want is for their first look inside a culture to be via a reality show. The producers claim it's harmless entertainment, but at BFD, we think they run the risk of turning America’s ignorance into outright prejudice.