Abercrombie & Fitch offered “a substantial amount” to Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and the rest of the cast of Jersey Shore to not wear their clothes. I couldn’t care less.
That’s not to say that I haven’t chuckled at the Ohio-based retailer making such an offer with money earned in part from the sale of t-shirts emblazoned with that ubiquitous acronym GTL. And for any not familiar with the phrase it is not an attempt at social consciousness in support of the Gay/Transgender/Lesbian community but rather the mantra of the Seaside Heights transplants from across the Hudson: Gym, Laundry, Tan. If I took this seriously I could possibly see this as an issue of freedom of expression; though I doubt that “The Situation” could spell the word constitution much less identify the Bill of Rights if threatened with the elimination of his bronzer and hair-styling products. In the end there is no real conflict. This is hardly the case of the Italian-American David facing the corporate Goliath. “The Situation” is a simpleton who fell into it because MTV will never go broke by pandering to the least common denominator of American culture. He is on track to earn over $5 million this year for work on the show, personal appearances and a book deal. Yes, my dear readers, I said book deal. His “self-help” book is available for anyone interested in “creeping on chicks” (don’t even get me started on that one) and “avoiding grenades.” At least he did his bit to help the economy by providing work to an underappreciated ghost writer. WANTED: Accomplished writer for quickie book of no literary merit. Must have experience in ghost writing for people who lack the ability to express themselves coherently. Ability to translate from Guido to English a must.
Then there is Abercrombie, most noted for its overpriced clothing and underdressed catalog models making a big fuss over nothing. I find it difficult to believe that people who are persuaded in by Abercrombie’s advertising campaigns would be offended to purchase a pair of sweats sported by a famous meathead with hair that defies gravity, a foul mouth and no control of his fists. I’d be surprised if this is anything more than the old advertising adage that any publicity is good publicity. According to the company’s press release: “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image,” the firm said in a statement, adding that a connection to the booze-fueled reality show featuring fights and casual sex, hurt the ‘aspirational nature of our brand.’” I don’t buy it.
As some of my friends have suggested, I would be willing to contribute to a fund that would encourage Mr. “The Situation” to disassociate himself with both the Italian American community and the state of New Jersey. They both have enough problems of their own.