Thanks to the folks at MTV, the Garden State is now recognized for its Italian-American-centric beaches, bars, gyms, tanning salons and laundromats. And for some reason, New Jerseyans aren’t thrilled about it.
But Gov. Chris Christie is putting his foot down, blocking the MTV show Jersey Shore from receiving a $420,000 tax break. Though Christie suspended the film tax credit program in 2010 on behalf of budget cuts, the show’s first season was filmed in 2009, qualifying it for funding.
“I have no interest in policing the content of such projects,” Christie said. The governor, who is no fan of the show, noted that it is his role to make sure New Jersey taxpayers are not stuck paying “for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens.” Among those misconceptions is the belief that the cast is actually from Jersey; in reality, the vast majority of the self-proclaimed “guidettes” and “juiceheads” are from New York.
Lawmakers have criticized the TV show’s impending tax break since it was first revealed by the statehouse bureau of The Star-Ledger of Newark and The Record newspapers earlier this month. MTV spoksewoman Noelle Llewelleyn told the AP she wouldn’t comment on the tax issue but emphasized, “Jersey Shore itself will not be affected.” NewsFeed gathers this is supposed to be a good thing.
For the uninitiated, the show’s initial season focused on a group of young Italian-Americans living in Seaside Heights, a shore community along the boardwalk, and showcased their hard-partying lifestyle. Subsequent seasons have followed the cast to Miami and Italy, though the show’s state-damning name has remained the same. Though some state officials denounce the show for tarnishing New Jersey’s image, NewsFeed notes you can’t discount the show for its cultural contributions: fist-pumping and smushing.