Bravo Reality Show Disrespects Fallen Firefighter's 9/11 Memorial
A 9/11 family is outraged over what they call “disrespectful treatment” of a memorial dedicated to their son. An episode of Bravo Network’s ‘Princesses: Long Island’ showed a woman kissing and holding up a beer bottle to the mouth of a statue for fallen FDNY firefighter Jonathan Lee Ielpi.
Trace Gallagher reported that cast member Amanda Bertoncini was trying to promote a decorative beverage holder with a photo shoot. She directed the model to hug and kiss the 9/11 memorial statue and then pretend feed it beer.
Ielpi’s father, who is a former firefighter himself, said the episode was a “slap in the face” to his son and all of those who died on 9/11. He criticized Bravo, saying, “This wasn’t live; this was a tape. […] I say shame on the network for their lack of courtesy, their lack of understanding. They find it more important that their ratings would be good.”
Bravo said it will edit out the scene in future broadcasts. In a statement, the network added, “Bravo would like [to] apologize for any distress we may have caused the family of Jonathan Ielpi and other firefighters.”
Burton also apologized but members of the Ielpi family were skeptical of her sincerity because in that apology she mentioned her product.