Long Islanders gathered at E.B. Elliot’s on Freeport’s Nautical Mile to rally Friday against Princesses: Long Island, the new Bravo reality show they say gives viewers the wrong idea about LI residents.
Among those who showed were Jewish residents of the village offended by the stereotypes on the show, local Superstorm Sandy survivors who feel slighted by comments made about debris and a local rap group that wrote a song about the show after one of the cast called Freeport a “ghetto.”
“I hope that all this makes Bravo realize that what they are representing is not reality,” said Kimberly Creed Llompart, a Freeport resident who organized the event and formed the “Boycott Princesses of Long Island” Facebook group. “I was happy to see people in the community stand up for what is right.”
She and others hope that the show will not be renewed for a second season. The third episode airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on Bravo.
Nice and Ill, a rap group that includes Joey Jack, Chris Mills, and Jason Yarde, were shocked when Ashlee White, one of the “princesses,” called Freeport a “ghetto,” so they made the song defending the village. They performed their song, “Bravo,” which received almost 40,000 hits on YouTube in two days at the event.
“People outside of New York who watch the show are going to think, ‘Ew that’s how all Long Islanders are,’” Mills said. “No, this is false. This isn’t Long Island.”
Jack notes how White’s comment about the couches on the street was insensitive because he, along with many people in the community, were affected by the devastation of Sandy and some are still rebuilding.
Jenna Jones, who has lived in Freeport for 43 years, said that she was particularly offended by the Jewish stereotypes portrayed in the show because she is Jewish herself.
“We chose Freeport because of the diversity,” she said. “We wanted to raise our children in the real world.”
Former Freeport resident Grace Byrne Greene flew in from Key Largo, Fla. to show her support after being infuriated by how the show portrayed the village, particularly by including police sirens and focusing in on rundown houses. She worries about the impact on property values after the show “portrayed Freeport in the most disparaging light.”
She added that she invited Bravo representatives to the event to apologize, but they failed to show up. White has since apologized for calling Freeport a ghetto.
“We’re hurt that someone would depict Freeport in that way,” said Anita Scott, another Freeport resident who lost everything from Sandy and is staying with her son. “You’re insulting all of us.”
“After Sandy, everyone in the community was looking out for one another,” she said. “That’s Freeport. It’s not a ghetto.”