"Princesses: Long Island" continued to stir up trouble, this time offending the family of a firefighter who died in the 9/11 attacks.
In the June 30 episode, Amanda Bertoncini had a photo shoot for her product, The Drink Hanky (fabric that wraps around drinks), at a park in Great Neck, New York where the Jonathan Ielpi Memorial Park is located. During the shoot (above), Amanda told the model joining her to hang off an FDNY memorial statue of Ielpi and put a beer bottle up to its mouth.
Melissa Ielpi-Brengel, sister to the fallen firefighter, was outraged. "Pretending I’m drinking with this man who was killed, it may not be against the law to do it, but it is the most disrespectful and disgusting that I think you can do,” she told Pix 11. "It opens up the wounds, and it makes you just want to cry all over again."
Bertoncini issued an apology. "I would especially like to extend my sincere apologies to the family of Jonathan Ielpi. I never meant to hurt or offend anyone when I was doing my photo shoot for The Drink Hanky. I hope you all can find it in your hearts to forgive me and understand that it was a spontaneous photo shoot without being aware that the statue was of sentimental value.”
Ielpi-Brengel wasn't satisfied with the apology. “That’s not an apology, it’s just another way to get her product out there,” she said.
Bravo aired an apology at the beginning of the Sunday, July 7 episode of "Princesses: Long Island."
"Bravo deeply regrets the inclusion of a scene disrespecting a 9/11 hero in last week's episode," the slate read at the beginning of the episode. We have removed the footage from the program. Our thoughts are with those who lost their lives on 9/11 as well as the firefighters who risk their lives every day. For more information, please visit www.tributewtc.org."
"Princesses: Long Island" made headlines when cast member Ashlee White referred to Freeport, an area of Long Island affected by Hurricane Sandy, as a "ghetto." She has since apologized. "Princesses: Long Island" has also been charged with furthering anti-Semitic stereotypes.
"Princesses: Long Island" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.