"Bad publicity is really good publicity," said Polizzi. "Everyone who is hating on the show at the end of the day is still watching it, so I don't care what anyone says because I know deep down they're watching."
But the public backlash may have hurt the program. At least one advertiser -- Domino's Pizza -- asked the network to stop playing its ads during "Jersey Shore."
In a statement to ABCNews.com, Domino's spokesman Chris Brandon said that the "content" of the show "wasn't right for "Domino's."
"We have no issue with MTV, and we haven't pulled our advertising from the network. We just have chosen not to be on that particular show," said Brandon.
In response, MTV released a statement: "'Jersey Shore' may not be for every sponsor or advertiser and we understand that."
According to the network's Web site, MTV is simply continuing its tradition of focusing on "various subcultures," this time following a group of young adults living in a summer share in Seaside Heights, N.J. MTV says that by the end of the show viewers will see "there is more to these tan and buff individuals than hair gel."
But others aren't so sure, and worry that the lasting impression some viewers will have of Italian-Americans won't be a good one.
"The show does not depict anything close to the reality of Italian-Americans," said Philip Piccigallo, the national executive director of The Order of the Sons of Italy in America, a Washington D.C.-based origination that represents the Italian-American population.
"Italian-Americans are a highly educated group, highly accomplished, and most go on to great schools and colleges," he said. "These kids are there having a good time, and we don't condone the way they behave. We just hope the American viewers take it for exactly what it is."
"It's silly and ridiculous and is the new reality of television and people want to see the sensationalism," said Piccigallo. "It doesn't have any connection to what is real in the Italian community and to the familial experience."
But according to Polizzi, her time filming "Jersey Shore" did result in a so-called Italian, familial experience.
"Because of the show, we're at the Jersey Shore to party, and that's basically what you do -- drink and party," she said.
"But I think everyone is getting the vibe that that is how we're trying to represent Italians, but we're not," said Polizzi. "We do have dinners and get to know each other as a family."
"Yeah, we party, but we also have a family side."