In the last few years, reality TV has seen a spike in ratings from filming drunken stars and the shenanigans that stem from their impetuous non-sobriety. A new law proposed in New Jersey could give towns more say when it comes to regulating the sometimes unpleasant effects of those events.
The Snookiville Law, Bill A-3273, was named for Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, star of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” The legislation would permit towns to regulate production and filming of reality television shows and impose fees and conditions on crews for additional police surveillance and presence during filming.
The cast of the “Jersey Shore” were involved in scuffles and fights while usually in an inebriated condition during their stint in Seaside Heights. Law enforcement routinely was called to the boardwalk while the show was taping. The Borough of Seaside Heights made its own arrangements with the show’s producers to cover the costs associated with bringing more police officers to the scene.
“New Jersey has a tradition of being a desirable location for reality TV shows such as ‘Jersey Shore,’ ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ and ‘Cake Boss,’” New Jersey assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R), who introduced the bill, said. “These shows can attract crowds, which can benefit local businesses and challenge a community’s resources.” Dancer says the bill “will permit local officials to make sure taxpayers don’t get ‘Snook’-ered or public safety is compromised.”
“It’s designed to provide towns with an option. It’s not a mandate, but an option,” Dancer said. “For a local municipal to license filming as a special event, we can better manage and plan to prevent poor situations, such as crowds, traffic congestion and drunkenness.”
“Reality TV can be an asset to a host community, as long as we remember that these shows may cost taxpayers money by requiring additional services when cameras are rolling in town,” Dancer said.
Snooki and co-star Jennifer “JWoww” Farley have been filming their own series in Manchester, a few miles west of Seaside Heights. There have been no reported problems with the filming to date.
Dancer says he hopes the law will go into effect by the end of 2012. Do you think this is a good idea?