A "Princesses: Long Island" cast member issued an apology to Freeport residents Wednesday for disparaging remarks made about the village during Sunday's premiere of the Bravo reality show.
Meanwhile, a Facebook page apparently created by a Freeport resident asking for a boycott of the show had registered over a thousand "likes" by late Wednesday.
The backlash began after Sunday's episode showed cast member Ashlee White driving through Freeport to the home of another cast member, Joey Lauren Brodish. While on a cellphone to her father, she called Freeport a "ghetto" and he advised her to roll up her car windows. The scene was edited to include a shot of the Freeport water tower, with a police car with flashing lights passing by.
In a statement on her Bravo blog, White wrote, "I extend my sincerest heartfelt apology for anyone I hurt or offended with the comments I made in Freeport. I was stressed, overwhelmed, and not thinking. I'm not excusing myself, but truly want everyone to know how sorry I am. If you think you know me after one scene, you are short-changing yourself because my heart is as large as my stature is short."
A Bravo spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment, while the public relations representative for Freeport, Sophia Johnson, also declined to comment.
It was unclear whether White's olive branch mollified any Freeporters, some of whom responded angrily in her blog's comments section. One writer, "KathleenG,: wrote: "Freeport has been a melting pot for many, many years. As someone who was born and raised in Freeport, I was lucky to grow up surrounded by numerous cultures. My friends came from different religions and skin color was that of the rainbow."
Meanwhile, here's what Kimberley Llompart of Freeport - who launched the Facebook page - told me via email last night:
I began this page out of anger. The uneducated comments passed by Ashlee White on National TV, regarding my home town of Freeport were insulting. Then I suddenly realized that this kind of reality TV has become the norm. Our children are growing up believing that these individuals being broadcast on reality shows are some sort of role models. When did television shows based on dysfunctional families and other's misfortune become entertaining television? This has to stop now! The stupidity of the editing and production company on Princesses: Long Island, regarding Freeport, when we are still trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy is appalling. Freeport as a town has significant historic value and was an integral part of shaping Long Island. I knew I couldn't be the only one outraged and embarrassed, something needed to be done. Only 48 hours after creating Boycott Princesses of Long Island on Facebook we are over 1700 "Likes". This is over 200 more than the show itself has. Its refreshing to see that there are still intelligent caring people willing to speak up for what they believe in.