Teacher who punched Snooki apologizes, MTV didn’t air the punch despite history of violence

Gym teacher Brad Ferro has apologized for punching Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, and his act of violence was not broadcast as part of MTV’s Jersey Shore last night, despite the network’s previous willingness to show violence.

Earlier in the week, MTV said in a statement, “What happened to Snooki was a crime and obviously extremely disturbing. After hearing from our viewers, further consulting with experts on the issue of violence, and seeing how the video footage has been taken out of context not to show the severity of this act or resulting consequences, MTV has decided not to air Snooki being physically punched in the face.”

Of course, it was MTV’s fault that it was taken out of context, because they wanted to sensationalize it in their promos. But during last night’s episode, as Zap2it notes, “viewers saw a black screen for a few seconds, followed by footage of Snooki crying and Ferro being led away by police.”

Brad says he told Snooki, “I’m very sorry for what happened. I deeply regret what happened. Nobody deserves that. That was not the real Brad Ferro,” he told the New York Post. He said that he was drunk when it happened, so “When I saw the video, I was sick to my stomach. I couldn’t believe that I’d ever do anything like that. I was raised to act in a respectful manner to women. I remember very little from the time of the incident. It’s all fuzzy. I remember a punch — I don’t remember who or why and I remember being arrested.”

As two separate stories point out, MTV has a history of showing violence–heck, the Challenge shows thrive on it.

Vanity Fair reports that “MTV has never before shown much compunction about airing objectionable material” and lists six “other things that MTV Networks has broadcast on its reality shows” and asks, “Are they any less objectionable than the Snookie punch?”

Movieline has a more comprehensive timeline, and asks, “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?”

Teacher who punched ‘Jersey Shore’ girl apologizes [New York Post]
Gee, MTV, When Did You Get Standards? [Vanity Fair]
MTV’s History of Violence: A Movieline Timeline [Movieline]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.