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Staten Island reality show debuts in January, draws criticism

Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 16:45:08-05

STATEN ISLAND, New York—One borough is quickly becoming the go-to back drop for reality TV. But the latest show set in Staten Island is drawing the ire of one local councilman.

City Councilman Joe Borelli, who represents Staten Island’s south shore, isn’t thrilled with MTV’s show “Made In Staten Island” which debuts next month. He let people on social media know, calling the latest iteration “embarrassing”.

“Look, I think we’re a unique bunch of people, and we can’t take ourselves too seriously and we can all have a laugh,” Borelli said. “I think the problem with this show is it’s glorifying a life of crime amongst teenagers.”

“Made in Staten Island” is the fifth series featuring Staten Islanders in the last nine years from Viacom, the parent company of MTV. Several other networks, including the Food Network and CNBC, have also started to use the borough as a backdrop. While the shows might be popular around the country, they don’t seem to be favorites among Staten Islanders.

“Ugh, I don’t like any of them. I watch none of them. I don’t do those,” said Ululani Harris of Clifton.

“I don’t see nothing wrong with it. If some people like it and want to watch it, God Bless ’em,” said Sophia Parrascando of Rosebank.

As for Borelli, he says he doesn’t mind all the extra attention on Staten Island, he just thinks there are plenty of other things shows could focus on. He says he’d even be willing to lend his services for a few of them.

“If the makes of MTV want to make a reality show about Staten Island, they’re welcome to follow me on my mountain bike or follow me eating my way through Staten Island. Shameless pitch for me so if you’re watching MTV, I’m available.”

We reached out to Viacom for comment but they didn’t respond. So, no word yet on whether they’ll take the councilman up on his offer. As for the show, “Made In Staten Island” is scheduled to debut January 14th.