MTV/ Scott Gries/Picture Group
Jersey Shore has only been on the air for two weeks, but there's almost as much drama off screen as there is on.
First, a couple of advertisers pulled their ads after some Italian-American groups blasted the show, about a group of twentysomethings sharing a summer house in Seaside Heights, N.J., as promoting negative Italian stereotypes.
And now, I can exclusively report, MTV has decided to pull footage from next week's episode showing housemate Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, 21, being closed-fist clocked in the face by a man during an altercation at a local bar...
Network execs ordered the cuts after downloaded copies of last night's on-air promo showing the sucker-punch went viral.
"What happened to Snooki was a crime and obviously extremely disturbing," MTV said in a written statement. "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."
However, the fight and its aftermath will be addressed in the episode, which will also end with a message from the loveisrespect and Teen Dating Abuse Helpline organization.
An MTV rep says no further cuts are planned for the series.
Brad Ferro, the Queens, N.Y. gym teacher who hit Snooki, was arrested on the spot. He was eventually found guilty of simple assault and was ordered to take anger-management classes and pay a $500 fine. The New York Post also reports he was given a six-month suspended jail term provided he stays out of trouble.
Find out more about Jersey Shore from Pauly D and The Situation.