The Situation, or Mike Sorrentino, was the subject of a public controversy which aggravated many Italian-American organizations across the nation. Becoming a household name through the MTV hit show Jersey Shore, Sorrentino would become one of the most recognized characters in reality TV. The question we all have right now is… what’s he doing now?
The Start for The Situation
Born on July 4, 1982 in Staten Island, New York, Sorrentino would graduate from Manalapan High School in 2000. He has two older brothers, Frank and Marc, and one younger sister named Melissa. He spent much of his early 20’s working as an exotic dancer and an assistant manager for a gym in Staten Island. Shortly after being fired from the gym at the age of 25, Sorrentino would turn to underwear modeling as a means to support himself. Based on the history of his professional career, one can easily see compare the younger Sorrentino to the television personality we know him as today. The Situation would make his debut in front of a national audience in December 2009.
MTV debuted the first episode of Jersey Shore on December 3, 2009 and finished the first season with a strong following of near 5 million viewers. The show follows the lives of eight housemates as they spend the summer at the Jersey Shore in New Jersey. The production debuted with large amounts of controversy regarding the use of the word “Giuddo” and for perpetuating certain stereotypes. For reference, the terms giuddo is an ethnic slur which refer to Italians and Italian-Americans (“Guidette” for female). The network did little to hide the mockery targeting these ethnic groups as several promotions explicitly used the ethnic slurs and steering the audience towards the stereotype.
It wasn’t before long the show would face a public upheaval in regards to the content. UNICO National, a service organization of Italian-Americans establish in Waterbury, Connecticut back in 1922, formally requested that MTV cancel the show. The president of the organization publicly issued a statement calling out MTV for mocking their culture.
The show quickly drew the attention from other Italian-American organizations as they joined the fight against MTV’s hit. The National Italian American Foundation and Order Sons of Italy in America were among the groups that joined the fight with UNICO and publicly voiced their distaste for the show. Several of the network’s sponsors also had concerns with the show, notably Dell, Domino’s and American Family Insurance. MTV’s released a statement in regards to all of the negative publicity, saying how the cast was proud of their heritage and how the show targets a very specific demographic.
Aside from being criticized on a national level, the cast had to deal with a tremendous amount of scrutiny on the local level. New Jersey natives would confront members on several occasions and point out how most of the cast were not from New Jersey. In addition, the cast would have to deal with public hatred for the fact that two of the members were not of Italian descent (Nicole “Snooki” Polizze and Jennifer “JWoww” Farley). If you watched the show on any consistent basis, you’d quickly notice just how much drama each of the cast members would have to deal with, whether from outside influences or with each other.
All of this negative attention did little to hinder the show’s success. National viewership peaked between seasons 3 and 4, reaching 8 million viewers per episode during that period of time. Each of the cast members were paid between $30,000 and up to $150,000 per episode during the lifetime of the series, which took them from New Jersey to Miami as well as Italy. A total of seven official remakes have been produced globally in an attempt to capitalize on the success of the original series, including Geordie Shore set in Newcastlye upon Tyne, England, The Valleys set in Cardiff, Wales, and Gandia Shore set in Gandia, Spain. For a period of time, the show reached influences in the public beyond the entertainment industry. The University of Chicago and the University of Oklahoma are among the educational institutions that have had classes or conferences devoted to discussing and studying the show. In 2010, the cast of Jersey Shore was named on Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People list.
The Situation Now in 2023 – After Jersey Shore Update
Sorrentino appeared in several reality shows throughout the 2010s including Dancing with the Stars, The Roast of Donald Trump, Celebrity Big Brother, The Choice, Worst Cooks in America, Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, and Suburgatory. At one point, he even had his own reality show called The Sorrentinos, which centered around him and his family.
Since 2018, he has also been starring in Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. A revival of the original series, it follows the seven original roommates as they vacation for a month together in Miami, Florida. In total, there are five seasons, the most recent of which finished airing on October 20, 2022. While ratings haven’t been ideal, the show has received numerous accolades including a People’s Choice Award and an MTV Movie and TV Award for Best Docu-Reality Show.
Aside from that, he also appeared in the MTV reality series Buckhead Shore, which is similar to Jersey Shore in that documents nine adults who live together for the summer. In 2021, he also lent his voice to one of the characters in the sci-fi comedy film Ron’s Gone Wrong and before that, he participated in the seventh season of Celebrity Family Feud.
In terms of his personal life, he announced in April 2018 that he had become engaged to his college sweetheart, Lauren Pesce; they later tied the knot on November 1, 2018. The following year, he revealed that Pesce had suffered a miscarriage seven weeks into her pregnancy. Two years later in 2020, they announced that they were expecting a child in May 2021. More recently in August 2022, they announced that they were expecting a second child.
Prior to getting married, however, he had run into some issues with the law. In 2014, he was charged with tax fraud, after it was determined that he hadn’t paid taxes on $8.9 million. Later in January 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. He was ultimately sentenced to 8 months in prison, in addition to two years of supervised probation. After serving two years behind bars, he was released in September 2019. Interestingly enough, parts of his court sentencing and events leading to his prison time were included in the third season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
For those who want to know what else “The Situation” is up to, you can follow him on Instagram at @mikethesituation. He also tweets regularly under the username @ItsTheSituation.