Alabama Town Says No Thanks to 'Redneck Riviera,' Passes Law to Block Filming

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P. Kenneth Hershey, the mayor of "Jersey Shore's" Seaside Heights, N.J., said the show that made Snooki, The Situation and fist pumping famous has helped fill the town's coffers.

"It gave us a couple millions worth of publicity -- at least," Hershey said. "It brought a lot of people into town. And they were orderly people."

The boardwalk house where the cast filmed has become its own tourist attraction, he said, drawing 50 to 100 people a day.

"It has given us quite a little boost," he said of the show. "A lot of people just come and stand across the street from their house."

The Redneck Riviera is loosely defined as the coastal area that stretches from Florida's Emerald Coast to the shores of Alabama.

The region even got several songs dedicated to it, including one by Country Music Hall of Fame star Tom T. Hall, who croons:

"Down here on the Redneck Riviera a drinkin' beer and singing country songs.

Chillin' with the motel door wide open hopin' somethin' good will come along.

Gulf Shores up through Apalachi-cola they got beaches of the whitest sand.

Nobody cares if gramma's got a tottoo or Bubba's got a hot wing in his hand."

Redneck Riviera Stereotype is "Hurtful,' Chamber CEO Says

"We've worked very hard, I think, to have an upscale image," Whitlock said. "To have the 'Redneck Riviera' stereotype thrown at us is almost like -- it's almost hurtful."

Redmond herself is familiar with the region, having grown up in Alabama. She came up with the concept well over a year ago, but then hesitated.

"My concern was, 'How comfortable am I doing this considering I'm from there and the fact that reality TV and TV in general is exploitative?" Redmond said.

In the end, it was the BP oil spill that ravaged the coastline that pushed her to move forward and begin casting.

"It killed me," she said. "I just couldn't believe what businesses and towns were going through."

Craft, however, said that portraying Gulf Shores as a redneck destination isn't going to help the town's image, which is decidedly not, a "honkey tonk, redneck type of world."

"We've had that nickname for some period of time," he said. ""We do not fit that general identity."

Though she has heard from some city mayors who aren't thrilled with the show's premise, others, Redmond said, have reached out to her saying they want the tourism dollars.

On the show's Facebook page, there seems to be more enthusiasm than disappointment.

"Just as soon as I get ahold of a video camera, you'll have my application," one Facebook poster wrote.

And another, "My husband & I own a little honky-tonk in Foley, Alabama ... We are rednecks & proud of it!"

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