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Has MTV pulled ‘Made in Staten Island?’ Critics hope so

Cast members of the "Made in Staten Island" reality show at the amNewYork offices in Manhattan on Jan. 11, 2019. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

The future of the reality show is unclear.

Cast members of the "Made in Staten Island" reality show at the amNewYork offices in Manhattan on Jan. 11, 2019.
Cast members of the "Made in Staten Island" reality show at the amNewYork offices in Manhattan on Jan. 11, 2019. Photo Credit: MTV

A "Made in Staten Island" cast member said there’s "nothing to worry about" following consecutive weeks of the series having been pulled from its Monday night time slot without explanation. 

"We know y’all miss #MadeInStatenIsland !! Stay Tuned in boo-boo’s," Dennie Augustine, 20, wrote on Twitter Feb. 11. "Trust me guys, there is nothing to worry about!" 

The borough-based reality show mysteriously disappeared from TV listings this month. Beginning Feb. 4, the Monday night time slot was instead filled by "Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club." 

The series’ social media platforms have since remained silent, but the cast and executive producer Karen Gravano have spoken out against cancellation rumors online. "We don’t have the answer on when it comes back," Gravano, of "Mob Wives," wrote on Instagram. "As soon as we know anything we will announce … just hang tight." 

On Feb. 12, the cast and Gravano gathered at MTV’s midtown offices for a "Made In Staten Island"-themed pizza making class, dubbed "Mob Pies." Several cast members, including Gravano’s daughter Karina Seabrook and Augustine, shared glimpses into the series event on their Instagram Stories. 

Critics of MTV’s show have applauded the removal of the controversial show, yet upset fans have flooded social media looking for answers. Cast member Taylor O’Toole replied to the hate on her Instagram page writing, "I’m sure me as well as my cast know WAY more about the show than you. The show was taken down to relocate it for a different time for different reasons. The show is NOT NOT NOT CANCELED." 

The fate of the program remains unclear. MTV hasn’t announced its cancellation, but the show isn’t currently scheduled for future airings, either. The network didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“The show being pulled from its time slot is great news and hopefully an indication that perhaps MTV executives are getting the message that the promotion of stereotypes and the slandering of a community is just poor taste and not a good business model to follow,” wrote Joe Maniscalco, the creator of a Change.org petition against the series.

“I feel so sad without watching #MadeinStatenIsland,” said one Twitter user. “but I know you guys always have something awesome for us miss you guys come back soon.”

Earlier this month, Augustine responded to a fan’s concerns via a picture on Twitter with the caption “will be back soon."

"Everybody just stay in tune with MTV, the show didn’t get taken off,” she posted. “We got somethin in store. Love you all guys @statenislandmtv.”

Critics had targeted the show, which chronicles the lives of a group of youths trying to stay away from the street life, even before it aired. Staten Island residents and city officials – including City Councilman Joseph C. Borelli and Mayor Bill de Blasio — have criticized the show for perpetuating Italian-American stereotypes and glorifying the mob.

The Change.org petition, titled “Cancel MTV’s Made in Staten Island or remove the borough’s name from the title,” has almost reached its goal, with 9,400 of 10,000 signatures as of Feb. 19.

“A show like this demeans what it is to be from Staten Island,” reads the petition. “…[the show] is built on the premise that kids from Staten Island all grow up surrounded by the mafia in their lives; this is far from the truth. If anything these kids are growing up in the opioid epidemic that is taking the lives of their friends and family, they are suffering the breakdown of traditional family values.”

Nicole Rosenthal and Meghan Giannotta