On last night’s Jersey Shore, all eyes were on Ronnie Magro’s wandering eyes and roving hands. And while the roommates were doing their best to dissuade an inebriated Magro from cheating on his then-pregnant girlfriend, the producers were there to cover every angle of Magro’s drunken grinding at the club and wayward groping back home. If he was going to cheat, they were damn sure going to get it on every camera. The drama made for entertaining television, and the fans ate it up.
What I don’t understand, however, is how the producers allowed an equally drunk Snooki, aka Nicole Polizzi, to make poison-level strength cocktails for the group of women Magro brought back home from the club.
Polizzi, perhaps annoyed that Magro was willfully walking into a situation he would regret later, made cocktails for the group in the hopes that they would get drunk and leave sooner. It’s a ludicrous idea. After a fake cheery Polizzi encourages the women — now in tank tops and undergarments in the hot tub — to chug their drinks, one particular woman obliges. Polizzi then runs back into the kitchen and fills up more than half of a wine glass with vodka. She splashes some orange juice in it before running out to hand her back the drink.
Fast forward 20 minutes, and the young woman in question is staggering out of the hot tub and falling over on a nearby seat. She can neither walk, nor keep her head upright as the rest of the group looks on and laughs. Polizzi, realizing that she’s to blame for this woman’s situation, helps her into the house where the young woman, in nothing but a bra and a thong, throws up all over herself and the couch, violently dry heaving in front of Polizzi and Pauly DelVecchio. Meanwhile, several cameramen run around the three to get the maximum effect of what they’re sure will be a humiliating moment for her and a schadenfreude fix for viewers at home.
It’s astonishing that in a post-Bachelor In Paradise scandal era and in the midst of the #MeToo movement, the producers did not jump right in to stop Polizzi from pouring what looked like two to three shots of vodka for someone who was already inebriated. And even if they let that slide, what about when she was vomiting? What were the show’s producers and cameramen thinking? Clearly she was blackout drunk.
It’s not 2009, Jersey Shore. The same antics won’t work anymore. And if that scene looked familiar, it's because Polizzi herself got insanely drunk during the Jersey Shore pilot, jumping into the hot tub with the boys in her underwear. The next day, she said she was so humiliated she almost left the house. But the OG fans are a decade older, they’re more aware, and (hopefully) no longer entertained by the same old narratives that used to fly in the earlier seasons. The cast has also changed — well, maybe not Magro — and have turned their lives around. It’s time to have a conversation about accountability and what production can no longer turn a blind eye to before shooting starts for the reboot’s second season.
Refinery29 has reached out to reps for Nicole Polizzi and MTV for comment.
Read These Stories Next: