A&E has ordered a new reality series called “Southie Rules” that follows one “stubborn native South Boston family as they battle the relentless gentrification of their neighborhood.”
Apparently it’s news and reality-tv worthy when white folks get pushed out of the neighborhood but not when Latinos or black communities are pushed out of New York’s Williamsburg, LA’s Silverlake and all of San Francisco. NY’s Chinatown is also in the thick of it too.
It’s unclear what the racial makeup of the family at the center of “Southie Rules” is but 85% of South Boston is white, according to public data from the 2000 Census.
Variety also points out working-class Southie has been examined on the bigscreen in films like “Gone Baby Gone” and “Mystic River.”
A snippet from A&E’s press release:
Living in the iconic working class area of South Boston, natives battle everyday with the onset of yuppie outsiders whose Starbucks and sushi restaurants are squeezing out the old school blue-collar families that have called this tiny 3.3 square mile neighborhood home for generations - and this family epitomizes the heart and soul of their neighborhood. They live in a triple-decker home, with all three floors connected, with each floor claimed by a different wing of the family. Mom, Camille, and Dad, Walter, live on the top floor, divorced but still sleeping in the same bed. Walter is forever in love with Camille, which makes it tricky for her as she keeps dating and looking for a new man. Middle floor is the youngest son, Matty, and the mother of his child, Jen. They have a 9-month-old and drama surrounds the issue of whether or not they’ll ever get married. Holding the family together on the bottom floor is the oldest daughter Leah, her husband Jarod and their 2-year-old. Leah is the gravitational center of the home; everything eventually goes through her, including the problems of the rotating cast of friends and extended family that walk in through their front door everyday.
It might be too late to make reality-TV of black folks in San Francisco because forget gentrification—the city has experienced what academics call a “black exodus.”
Williamsburg, which historically was predominantly Puerto Rican and Latin American, has seen one of the most aggressive and violent gentrification movements in the U.S. that some say was spurred by public policy.