MTV's History of Violence: A Movieline Timeline
Last Friday, MTV took an uncharacteristically moral stance in their decision to not air the "guido punch heard around the world." The conclusion was reluctantly reached when viewers flooded the network with complaints after repeatedly seeing the Jersey Shore promo in which Snooki is knocked out by a male stranger; MTV consulted "experts on the issue of violence," pulled the sequence from last week's episode, and hinted in a statement that they would be taking the issue of violence much more seriously in the future. Now, MTV has a history of teasing its viewers (for instance, the network's name still has the word "music" in the title), but would MTV really reverse its standing on a little excessive violence after spending over a decade building its empire around macho reality personalities smacking each other around? Like an abused housewife who has heard "I'm sorry honey, it won't happen again" one too many times, I'm guessing no. Let's take a look at the evidence.
1993: David Exposes Tami, Real World: Los Angeles
Back in the '93, Real World cast member David was booted from the house after pulling a blanket off his nearly naked roommate despite her shrieking protests. Afterward, Tami yelled at David saying, "It wasn't not funny" and convinced producers that his actions were close enough to rape to disqualify him from the show.
1998: The Slap Heard Around the World, Real World: Seattle
On her way out the door, Irene (the Lyme disease-afflicted housemate who chose to leave early), called David outside and told him, "A marriage between you and I would never work out, you know that. Because you're homosexual, Stephen." Stephen chased after Irene's car, opened her car door, and then proceeded to slap her in the face. The moment has since become one of the most infamous events in Real World history.
1998 - 2002: Claymation Gore, Celebrity Deathmatch
Possibly the most gruesome experiment in MTV history lasted four seasons. The series pitted celebrities against each other in bloody battles that almost always ended in death. Incidents included Rosie O'Donnell being diced into cubes after Oprah shoved her through the Dome of Devastation, Gary Oldman's head being crushed in Christopher Walken's hands, John Tesh ripping David Hasselhoff's face off and Chris Rock impaling and electrocuting Adam Sandler.