Karen Gravano and the cast of the MTV reality series “Made in Staten Island” spoke publicly on the state of the show for the first time since it mysteriously vanished from its Monday night time slot nearly 10 weeks ago.
“We didn’t get canceled,” Gravano, an executive producer on the series, said in a Facebook Live video Wednesday night.
Cryptically updating fans on the fate of the series starring her daughter Karina Seabrook, Gravano said she’s “still in contact” with the network. Several members of the cast, including Seabrook, Dennie Augustine, Paulie Fusco and Christian Patterson (C.P.), said they were “still working” and uninvolved in the production decisions that led to the series hiatus.
“We are working. We weren’t canceled. We just had a couple of things come up and felt we wanted to add more layers to the show so we’re still working on it. We’ll definitely be back," Gravano said. "I don’t have the answers because again I’m just a producer. We’re working on the programming but I think that we’ll have something coming soon and I know it’ll definitely be worth the wait.”
The cast appeared in a Facebook Live video hosted by a New Jersey podcast, "The Wiseguyz Show." The show, dubbed an “Italian American news source,” is sponsored by Gravano’s pizzeria Pizza Nostra, located in Totowa, New Jersey, where members of the “Made in Staten Island” cast have been employed.
The Facebook Live was not affiliated with MTV, and the network has not commented on the state of the series since it last aired in February.
The reality show that branded itself as telling the stories of a new generation who grew up with family members with mob affiliations was met with backlash from locals when it first premiered.
A petition calling for the borough’s name to be removed from the title received nearly 10,000 signatures, and it remains unclear if it impacted the network’s episode pull-in. When asked by "Wiseguyz" hosts if MTV would bring the show back under a new title, Gravano said, “I can’t really answer those questions right now because of what we’re working on.”
“We didn’t pull the show because of that,” she said. “Again, we weren’t representing a borough. It’s actually unfortunate that people would look at something and feel insulted. I mean, they have their own demons that they’re fighting because how could you be embarrassed of what someone else does?”
Later on in the broadcast, however, when discussing misconceptions of the way the series portrayed the mob, the “bosses” and the “street life,” Gravano implied it did impact the decision to add more to the series.
She said: “To be honest, that’s why we made a decision, because so many people were judging it and we felt that we had so many different, more to add to it. Why put it out there when they’re not understanding? So, we just pulled back and we are going to put another product out and we really believe in the message.”
Gravano and the cast consistently have stated that the show was never meant to represent a group of New Yorkers, but rather, explore the unique paths of these young adults.
When visiting the amNewYork offices to promote the show in January, Augustine said, “I think I can speak for the whole entire cast when I say we’re not looking to represent anyone other than ourselves as individuals."
Fusco echoed her sentiment saying, "[A]s you can see, there’s a lot of bitter people on Staten Island and people are always going to hate on you. Being from Staten Island gives you that ability to brush it off.”
In the Facebook Live, the cast members also explained their take on the hiatus. Augustine, the "godmother" of the group, started by saying she was excited about the fans who gathered weekly to watch — and hate-watch — the show.
When asked plot-specific questions — like whether or not C.P. and Kayla Gonzalez are an item and if Paulie and Karina are still together — the group said, “you’ll see when the finished product is out.”