Since its debut on June 2, the show has been a lightning rod for criticism on Long Island for its unflattering depiction of the area and Jewish cultural stereotypes. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit children’s advocacy group, states on its website, “Parents need to know that ‘Princesses Long Island’ contains all the expected voyeuristic entertainment one comes to expect from these types of shows, including strong sexual innuendo, catty arguing, bleeped curses, and lots of drinking and drunken behavior. It also offers a very stereotypical view of Jewish-American women, much of which appears to be played up for the cameras.”
What did Serie know and do?
Serie, who grew up in Merrick and now lives in Long Beach, said he was unaware of the nature of the series when he agreed to be part of its filming, which took place in June 2012. He said that a friend who is a TV producer asked him to take part in a show titled “Gold Coast,” which the friend claimed was about life on the North Shore. The friend arranged for Serie to have lunch with White, who invited him to the pool party.
In episode one, Serie appears on screen for 10 minutes as a secondary character, mostly seen in the background. A sprawling, drunken shouting match among several party-goers erupts on camera, and at one point, Serie and other onlookers applaud one of the participants. Serie told the Herald that he was trying to appease the antagonists.
“The two characters were having an argument, and the one woman said she doesn’t need this drama because she’s getting married soon,” Serie explained. “I said, ‘Hey, you’re getting married, congrats,’ in a humorous way to try to defuse the situation. Everyone clapped.” He said the argument then stopped for a while, and as evidence that time had passed, he pointed out that night had fallen by the episode’s next shot, in which the argument continued, as if uninterrupted.