“Jersey Shore” may resonate with television viewers, but prepster clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch will throw down a “substantial” amount of money to avoid association with the show.
According to CNN, Abercrombie & Fitch said Tuesday that meathead “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino could hurt the business by sporting its apparel.
“We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans,” an Abercrombie & Fitch spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the fashion powerhouse has proposed a “substantial payment” to Sorrentino to don an “alternate brand.”
“We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response,” the statement continued.
The 30-year-old television personality, who often lifts up his shirt to reveal his impressive abdomen, told New York magazine last year that Abercrombie based one of its items off his trademark name, “The Situation.”
“Abercrombie & Fitch, their most popular shirt, they told me, is ‘Fitchuation.’ I mean, where did they get that from? Obviously from myself,” Sorrentino told the publication.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the retailer confirmed that it carried that shirt for part of its “humor graphic tee assortment.”
“Jersey Shore” is frequently at the center of criticism for glamorizing obnoxious behavior and promoting idiocy. Last year, the The National Italian American Foundation dubbed the program’s cast “laden with promiscuity, debauchery, and violence,” calling the show itself “a disgrace.” (RELATED: ‘Jersey Shore’ star Snooki: Italy needs ‘more nail salons with Chinese people running them’)
The MTV reality series has its share of haters, but the same can be said about Abercrombie & Fitch, which has featured sexually explicit ads and faced allegations of discrimination against Asian, African-American and female workers.