Russian Dolls Controversy
September 2, 2011 by staff
Mom point: you like your daughter of immigrants from the former Soviet republic of Moldova, by marrying a man with similar roots, keep the family of East European Jewish tradition.
Unfortunately, the daughter of mother who is now reportedly dating a Hispanic man. But soon it leaves the chamber, on a date restaurant.
The scene is captured in a reality show called “Russian Dolls”, which premiered on the cable network Lifetime in August and airs Thursdays at 11:30 pm EST.
It has been called the Russian Federation “Jersey Shore” or “Real Housewives”, with six women and two men, plus extras Kosov colorful as Anna, the mother. Are all of the former Soviet Union, either live or have lived in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn. But only two are actually from Russia.
The show has drawn the ire of neighbors and community leaders who say it creates a cartoon world of immigrants, making the cast members in “The Russians in tasteless clothes that do nothing but eat, drink and party “says John Lisyanskiy, founder of the new nonprofit Russian-speaking American Leadership Caucus and a budgetanlyst for the City of New York.
Characters from the series do not represent “a small part of our community,” says Elena Makhnin, executive director of Business Improvement District Brighton Beach. But she says her neighborhood by the Brooklyn waterfront is mostly “a very intelligent, well educated, working in the community.”
Kosov, a hairdresser, had to mend relations with her boss born in Mexico, for comments he had made in the program her daughter, Diana Kosov, dating from the Hispanic man.
“I said, ‘I’m not a racist,’” he says. “I love all kinds of people.” As for the scene with the knife, “I’m not murderer!” Says Anna Kosov, smiling with amusement.
However, she is serious about correcting any misunderstandings. He took the time on a sunny summer afternoon to join the cast of the interviews in the nightclub Rasputin and set things straight.
“At that time, I make borscht!” He explains. “Who is to make borscht without a knife? That cut the vegetables.”
The truth is that there is reality TV – and then there’s reality.
“Is that what you say?” binman Albert asks, laughing out loud while reading a promo and described it as a spiffy 26-year-old “Trader” that “parties every night,” and “wants to marry a beautiful Russian girl.”
“I do not party every night,” he says. “And I want to marry a Jewish girl, not necessarily in Russia. Or, why my parents sent me to yeshiva?” A Yeshiva is an Orthodox Jewish school.
Albert goes to work every day, doing medical billing. He lives in New York borough of Queens.
“I love being with my brother, who is 17 and he is the love of my life,” he says.
Real life can be boring television, but not always.
A fight between two women in the cast erupted during interviews with The Associated Press on Rasputin.
“Take the (expletive)!” Marina shouted Levitis, 35, who runs the swanky nightclub with her husband lawyer.
The comment is addressed to Sveta Rakhman, a banker Levitis 47 years of age, did not know before the show. The women developed an aversion to the other, appears in a tense episode next set of Rasputin.
Face was the last he met first with Rakhman finish last “because it happened before,” says angrily Levitis.
In the series premiere, she, her husband and two children walking in the middle of an amateur belly dance performance by 56-year-old mother-in-law, Eva Levitis. She “is the mother of my husband. She’s one to me,” says Levitis in the episode.
In fact, “we are a very close family, everyone gets along,” says Marina Levitis later told the AP. However, “on television, you have to impress people, otherwise we will not see it.”
His mother-in-law brushes “nobody,” a comment with a laugh, explaining that the apparent hostility between them “does not exist in reality.”
When auditioning for the show and signing of contracts, no one expected negative reactions.
“Left of the Volga, held the vulgar,” said one newspaper headline.
Anna Khazanov, a business model 22 years old, wears a short ultra gives little choice to sit politely in front of a television camera of AP. But she says there is much more to her than meets the target, including the supervision of the girls who attend modeling school and began to run.
“Family means a lot to me,” says Khazanov, who shared a bedroom with her older sister to the brother went to medical school recently. “I’ve been working since I have 15 years and helped support my family.”
Rakhman, the banker, welcomes the punches and blows back.
She called the owners of Rasputin “to these people. I can eat for breakfast, lunch and spit.”
And if viewers see “some things exaggerated,” she says, “is good TV, it was fun.”
Makhnin, the business improvement district, agrees, saying that “offended” by the show. “It’s not a documentary, a television commercial project, the stereotypes,” he says.
“Unfortunately,” he adds, “This is what the public buys.”
Others are less tolerant, including Lisyanskiy, a friend of Marina and Michael Levitis husband.
“This is who we are,” says U.S. defender of Russian speakers. “Even if it’s entertainment value, when people are seeing this type of material, it sticks with them, they begin to believe.”
But when all is said and shot for television, says Michael Levitis (not shown in the show), “if you are serious about this reality show, the joke is on you.”
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