Jersey Shore Family Vacation's second season was the first time the mastermind behind Jersey Shore, SallyAnn Salsano, broke the fourth wall and appeared on camera. But it was absolutely necessary due to the drama between Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and baby mama Jen Harley, which exploded during Thursday's episode when Harley spit on and hit Ortiz-Magro on camera.
Salsano, an executive producer who has worked on the show since its start, opened up to Us Weekly about the shocking moment of the MTV show and her decision to step in and speak to Ortiz-Magro on camera for the first time.
“We always try to avoid it. I know there are other shows that try to go for it a little more and I think there’s always reasons as to why it happens. In this case, it really wasn’t a thought-out process. It was a reaction to what you do when a friend or someone you love is going through something,” she told the publication.
Salsano admitted she “hated” being on camera, but had to get in there and comfort Ortiz-Magro during his breakdown. “I get it, I’m a producer. They are people that are on my TV show. The truth of the matter is that we have relationships with these guys. We’ve known them for so long. It wasn’t a typical episode. It wasn’t a typical thing that we normally deal with. This is someone you love going through something completely unexpected, out of the ordinary, and you know, we all look to each other for guidance," she said.
She added that there had been times in her own life that she leaned on the cast and this was the one time that Ronnie needed to lean on the producers..
“I think honestly, as a human, I don’t know if there was another way to do it. As a producer, there’s always other ways to do it. But as a person who genuinely cares about these people and loves this cast, there was not an option,” she said.
Handling this situation, which resulted in a domestic violence warrant out for Harley and was widely reported at the time, Salsano said there was really no hiding any aspect of Ortiz-Magro's ongoing drama.
“We do give each other a certain amount of respect or privacy. We all go through things as we’re shooting but this was one of those things where it was just happening and we were there. We were in his hometown. It just felt so unavoidable and it was unexpected,” she said. “I think it was unexpected for Ron, I think it was unexpected for the cast, it was unexpected for the baby. This was literally, like, ‘We’re going to Vegas to meet the baby,’ and like hell, who doesn’t like Vegas? It kind of was a perfect fit for the show, like it made complete sense when we were making the plan.”
That, plus the on-again, off-again couple's tendency to air their drama on social media, made it only right to show what was happening on Family Vacation, she added, “In true fashion, we always follow what’s happening. We feel like also, if we didn’t follow this, we weren’t being true to the fans and the format. We always show what’s happening every single season. So we can’t shy away from it now.”0comments
Jersey Shore Family Vacation airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.
Photo credit: MTV