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Last week, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s drunk alter ego “Dren” came out to play on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. It didn’t take long for viewers to criticize the reality TV star for her drinking, most of them calling her a bad mom. Eventually, Nicole brought Jersey Shore executive producer SallyAnn Salsano into the conversation. Here’s what she had to say.

Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, who has a drunk alter ego named 'Dren,' poses for the camera
Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi | Efren Landaos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ fans attack ‘Snooki’ after ‘Dren’ episode

Last week’s episode of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation titled “Dren” showcased Nicole very drunk. After a day of drinking copious amounts of alcohol and minimal food intake, Nicole is barely coherent at Nikki Hall’s 30th birthday dinner. Even her roommates refuse to look her in the eye for fear of attracting Dren’s attention. 

This episode isn’t the first time we’ve seen Dren. She previously appeared in Jersey Shore: Family Vacation when the roommates visited the Pocono Mountains. Regardless, there was a lot of criticism for Nicole on social media as the episode aired. 

“You are a drunk and the saddest example of a mother,” one tweet reads. “Save the children.” Another Twitter user said: “I don’t find it funny or entertaining how drunk Snooki gets … she’s high key an alcoholic.” 

SallyAnn Salsano says ‘Snooki’ is entitled to a ‘few drinks on her 10 days off’ 

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation producer and head of 495 Productions SallyAnn Salsano stepped in after Nicole tagged her directly in response to this tweet: “I’m so sorry, ‘Snooki’ has such a drinking problem. Her children and husband must be so [embarrassed]. She needs [an] intervention.” SallyAnn, who has compared herself to “Snooki” before (via The Daily Beast), stepped up to defend her by retweeting and saying:

“A full-time mom who tends to her [family’s] needs 24/7 while running multiple businesses and is in tv shows can have a few drinks on her 10 days off a year! Not to mention a pretty good friend to many. But hey you do you.” 

SallyAnn Salsano, Twitter

As Nicole pointed out in one of her replies, “Welcome to reality tv [ma’am].” Yes, the behavior exhibited in “Dren” was a sight to behold, but it’s important to remember these moments are exaggerated and edited for the purposes of entertainment — AKA reality television. If you follow Nicole on social media, you know she’s a real mom outside of her career in entertainment.

Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi defends ‘Dren’s drinking on ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ 

Most of the Jersey Shore cast will live tweet as an episode airs on Thursday nights. Last week, Nicole spent most of the time defending herself to those viewers who thought she drank too much in the episode. 


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“You see me on an episode of a reality show for 30 minutes of me on vacation,” Nicole replied to one tweet. “You don’t see me not drinking, being a kickass, boss mom to my children 24/7 of my life. I truly beg to differ on your statement. My kids are thriving and love their mawma. Freak.” 

In response to another tweet comparing Nicole’s drinking to Jenni “JWoww” Farley and Deena Cortese’s lack thereof, Nicole said: “They bring their children on these vacations and go back to them at night. I can’t bring mine due to their sports and school obligations & refuse to take them out of it. So I don’t have children in my room to [go] back to, hence why I’m the only mom that is raging. Let me live.” 

Watch Jersey Shore: Family Vacation every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.