I read with great interest columnist Lane Filler's response ["Princesses, paisans and prejudices," Opinion, June 25] to the criticism by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) of the TV show "Princesses: Long Island." To my mind, the only statements that Filler made that make any sense are at the end of his piece where he said: "I understand why people get upset at the way their groups are stereotyped. It's hurtful, and limiting, and attributes to huge numbers of people traits they don't embody."
I appreciate creative and good-natured humor, and who among us has not shared jokes about specific ethnic, racial or religious groups, including Jews? There is no doubt, however, that as Americans we have come to understand how people can be offended when the stereotyping goes too far. As our country grows ever more diverse, it is incumbent upon us to show respect and sensitivity to those of different backgrounds.
I am less upset at Filler for his defense of "Princesses: Long Island" than I am at the people who produced the series, the network that is airing it and, most of all, the young women and their families who appear in it. It is possible that there are young, single, privileged Jewish women who are as shallow, materialistic and immature as those featured on the program, but to present them as representatives of Jewish life on Long Island is, as Filler, says, hurtful and limiting.
I applaud Israel for taking the lead in speaking out against this latest example of dangerous stereotyping. There are other series doing equal damage to other groups; I call on the networks to work on promoting understanding and tolerance instead of fanning the flames of prejudice.
Steven Markowitz, Great Neck
Editor's note: The writer is the chairman of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.
A letter writer was "horrified" after watching Bravo's "Princesses: Long Island" reality TV show, because she claimed the program "paints a disturbing picture of the Jewish women of Long Island" [" 'Princesses' offers disturbing picture," Letters, July 1]. She wanted to know how we can get the show off the air.
I have a simple solution: Stop watching the show.
Susan Hermer, Commack
Am I the only one who thinks that Amanda Bertoncini of "Princesses" should keep her mouth closed?
First, she trashed Freeport and apologized. Then she staged a jocular photo shoot at the Great Neck memorial statue of a firefighter who died on Sept. 11, 2001 [" 'Princesses Long Island' star Amanda Bertoncini apologizes for photos at 9/11 memorial," Entertainment, July 2]. In her apology for this, she directed her comments to anyone who was affected by Sept. 11. Wake up. Our whole country and the world was affected by Sept. 11.