According to a volunteer helping to distribute resources to victims of Hurricane Sandy last Friday, Drita D’Avanzo of VH1′s reality show Mob Wives, and her camera crew made a surprise appearance at a place where volunteers were distributing supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island. According to a volunteer with the relief effort who spoke to The Observer, her arrival was “not well received.”
“So she walked up and volunteers thought it was another news crew filming people helping out. ” the volunteer said, providing a photo of the occasion. “But then a boom mike lurked over our heads. Notice in the picture everyone turning their backs on her and walking away. She was not well received and was able to clear a hot coffee stand on a cold day in 2 seconds.”
Parts of Staten Island were among the most damaged in Sandy’s aftermath, and despite its relatively small population, the borough contained more than half of the city’s storm-related casualties. The volunteer said those who were participating in the relief effort there felt it was inappropriate for Ms. D’Avanzo to take advantage of the damage to film her show.
“Keep in mind this was 50 feet from where people died and bodies recovered,” the volunteer explained. “As she was filming her reality show, about 100 students and faculty from IS34 were a few feet away cleaning debris, not show boating for the news cameras, and reminding the world why Staten Island is a pretty good community to live in.”
Jenn Graziano, of Just Jenn Productions, a producer of Mob Wives, said the show has taken steps to ensure they are not interfering with those affected by the storm. However, they didn’t want to ignore the situation on Staten Island.
“This tragedy is a part of the reality these women are experiencing, and we can’t ignore it. We are working carefully not to intrude or interfere with anyone,” Ms. Graziano said. “But we do want to show what’s happened on Staten Island through the eyes of all of our cast members who are all out trying to help their neighbors through this difficult time.”