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June 20, 2013 6:39 am

Why I Won’t be Watching ‘Princesses: Long Island’

avatar by Steve Israel

Email a copy of "Why I Won’t be Watching ‘Princesses: Long Island’" to a friend

The cast of Princesses: Long Island. Photo: WIkimedia commons.

I’m proud to represent an area of Long Island that has been the location for many famous movies and TV shows, including Citizen KaneAnnie Hall, and the hit television series Boardwalk Empire. It’s even the setting for The Great Gatsby. Shamefully, it’s also now the location for a show whose characters are disgraceful, misleading, and fuel anti-Semitic stereotypes: Princesses: Long Island.

Full disclosure: I kind of enjoy reality TV. Storage Wars and Pawn Stars are among my guilty pleasures. So the idea of watching a reality show taking place in my own backyard wasn’t so far-fetched. I knew little about the show before sitting down to watch the season premiere.

Much to my dismay, the characters on the show spewed gross generalizations about the living and dating habits of unmarried Jewish women. And the stereotyping didn’t stop there. In the latest episode, the characters get together for a Shabbat dinner, an important tradition in the Jewish faith and culture. As a Jew, I can say with confidence that this dinner was exactly the opposite of what the sacred Sabbath dinner is supposed to be. But for those watching unfamiliar with the holy meaning of the Jewish Sabbath, it is shown in the worst way possible, with excessive drinking and fighting.

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The characters do not shy away from any Jewish stereotypes and portray both Jews and Long Islanders in the most unflattering light possible. Yes, I know this is reality TV, but it’s still unacceptable.

Jews have spent thousands of years trying to dispel stereotypes. We’ve been repeatedly persecuted by groups that hate based on falsities and gross generalizations. I’ve worked my whole life to combat this type of hatred. And I’m the product of grandparents who came to this country to escape the Pogroms of Russia and the hatred they faced simply because of their religion.

Therefore, I will not silently tolerate a show that paints Jewish women on Long Island with all-too-familiar and painful stereotypes — money-hungry, superficial, Jewish-American Princesses. The characters on the show are welcome to live their lives however they may choose, but I don’t want viewers of the show to think that they are, in any way, representative of Jews or Long Islanders.

I, for one, will not be spending my Sunday night watching Princesses: Long Island. Viewers should know that the show portrays the lives of the characters and is in no way representative of a religion, culture or geographic area. I hope that others will join me in deciding that this show is not the type of TV we should be supporting.

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  • Andy Cohen should be ashamed of himself. I live in Los Angeles and thought the “Shahs of Sunset” was pretty pathetic, however, this even outdoes that. What Andy Cohen gonna do next, put white people on in black face? This kind of schlock fuels anti semitism and reinforces the JAP sterotype. These girls are sad, late 30’s living at home and looking for their parents to take care of them. If I was their father, I’d throw them out of the house and tell them to grow up.
    These girls are “icky” – they think they can come up with some lame idea and tomorrow they will wake up and be Betheny Frankel – Good Luck. Their parnets are just as bad, they are “enablers”. Now I know why Elvis shot TV sets…

  • Mr Writer: I will BE watching that show due to your review.
    I DEFINITELY WANT TO SEE THIS ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF OUR
    ‘jewish woman’.I SAID ACCURATE.
    According to your review,YES !!! thats my people in sections of the island, but then there are BETTER communities, more observant communties that are not like that.This advertisment you wrote makes me want to go in the same business.How much did the producers pay you?
    You stated:
    ‘…the characters on the show spewed gross generalizations about the living and dating habits of unmarried Jewish women.’ YOU ERRED, YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID ,
    …AND married woman cheating….

    YOU STATED:
    ‘In the latest episode’
    I GUESS YOU BEEN WATCHING HUH?

    YOU STATED:
    ‘Jews have spent thousands of years trying to dispel stereotypes.
    I DONT KNOW HOW YOU CAN VERIFY THAT EXCEPT WHEN THOSE VERY SAME JEWS ASSIMILATED TO BE THE PERFECT GERMANS IN THE 1800s.
    EVEN IN EGYPT WE JEWS KEPT OUR ”JEWISH” NAMES.

    Mr Writer if you care so much you should NOT HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I *WILL WATCH IT NOW*
    but mostly because if you are tuned into our TORAH AS YOU HINT then you know the remedy is LEARN TORAH…
    SO WE ‘WILL’ BE THE LIGHT. TO BE THE LIGHT, WE HAVE TO LEARN TORAH AND SHINE IN THE WAY THAT G-D WILL BE PROUD.
    …AND WE WILL BE THE REPRESENTITIVES OF HASHEM….
    YOU SAID THAT DIDNT YOU? OHHHHyou didnt? tsk tsk tsk
    so all you did was write a sensation article with no meaningful message to go along with your condemnation….
    TSK TSK TSK….

    I WONDER WHAT schmuely boteach WOULD SAY….

    I wouldve read elders of zion if you had written a review on that….

  • Joy

    The show about JAPs sounds terrible – but, unfortunately, just bad enough to tempt me to watch! I’m Jewish and was brought up in a home and in a social milieu that was 180 opposite of this Long Island “experience;” so, in a very substantive way, it’s alien territory – terra incognita! – to ME! Ironically, my late Gentile (Methodist-turned-Episcopalian) husband grew up as almost a minority in the heart of this very milieu (the so-called “Five Towns” area); but even he might have found this new show a bit much!!

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