They’re blocking out the haters. The cast of MTV’s new reality TV series Made in Staten Island got a ton of backlash after the season premiere aired earlier this week. Viewers took to social media to slam the cast for either glorifying street life or for depicting a negative view of Staten Islanders. But In Touch recently sat down with Made in Staten Island stars Christian “C.P.” PattersonKarina SeabrookPaulie Fusco, and Dennie Augustine and they each took turns responding to all of the hate.

“To be honest, I feel like we’re not glorifying anything,” Karina told In Touch. “At the end of the day, everybody has a story to tell and we’re not speaking for everybody on Staten Island. We’re just telling our story — that’s very relatable, whether you want to admit it or not. The past of Staten Island is the past of Staten Island, and that’s the truth.”

Karina is the cast member with the strongest family ties to the mafia lifestyle. Her mother (and the show’s executive producer) is Karen Gravano, is a former Mob Wives star, and her grandfather is the notorious mobster Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano. But her co-star and boyfriend Paulie thinks that fans should wait to watch the show to pass any judgment.

“For the most part, you’re gonna have to watch the show what it’s truly about,” Paulie told In Touch. “But anyone’s opinion of me isn’t my business.”

Dennie agreed with her co-stars and explained that the show isn’t so much about the cast’s past but how they are changing for their futures. “I really just think we have the balls enough to get up and tell everybody the struggles that people have went through — there’s not one cast member who has ever said they don’t want better for themselves,” she said.

During the season premiere, fans watched as C.P. opened up about his past mistakes. He explained that now, he’s using that as a life lesson to urge himself and the rest of his friends to do better.

“There’s so much hate going around. But at the end of the day, the whole point of it is we’re not bad people. Right now, I just feel like my group of people from the show, we’re just headed down such a good path and we just want to break that stigma and we want to be looked at as more than just ‘street kids.’ That’s what people look at us as,” C.P. told In Touch. “I think we’re so much more than that, and we’re just trying to overcome it. That’s it. If we could stick together and we could depend on each other — like in a bad way, you would depend on something [bad] — if we could just lean on each other in a good way and when one of us gets down, one of us picks each other up, we keep striving together, we can definitely make something happen. That’s all we want to do is come together.”

Made in Staten Island airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ESt on MTV.

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