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Tony Bennett disses ‘Jersey Shore': 'They’re all morons and gangsters’

September 22, 2011 |  5:26 pm

Shore  Tony Bennett may have gotten himself in hot water with his comments about Sept. 11 to Howard Stern earlier this week. But he also has strong opinions about a less geopolitical topic: MTV’s "Jersey Shore."

The performer, who’s set to play a big date at Staples Center this weekend, doesn’t have terribly kind words for the MTV reality hit. “They're all morons and gangsters,” Bennett said of the Situation & Co. “It’s terrible.”

In an interview with Show Tracker promoting his new "Duets II" album, the singer said he had, on principle, not watched the series. But he was sufficiently familiar with it from clips and secondhand reports to find it offensive.

"Jersey Shore" drew controversy when it first came on the air two years ago, particularly for its use of a potentially offensive word for Italian Americans. But as the show has become more established, there's been less noise about it.

Making his comments more notable: Bennett is a staple on MTV (he recently was seen on the MTV Video Music Awards next to Lady Gaga) and in fact owes much of his late-career renaissance to appearances on the cable network beginning in the early 1990s.
Bennett, who is of Italian ancestry, said that he found shows like "Jersey Shore," "The Sopranos" and even 'The Godfather" evidence of a double standard when it came to Italian Americans.

“If you depicted Jews in a stereotypical way, there would be parades in the street, and rightly so,” he said. “Same thing with Chinese people and Poles. So why aren't there any here?


Stevie Wonder, John Mayer to join Tony Bennett at Staples

— Steven Zeitchik

Photo: "Jersey Shore." Credit: MTV.