The music channel issued a mea culpa Thursday to two 14-year-old girls who were the victims of a Jackass-style prank in which they were showered with human feces.
The apology came just after the two victims, Monique Garcia and Kelly Sloat, filed a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against the cable net, charging MTV with infliction of emotional distress, negligence and battery.
The incident occurred January 21, during a taping of a pilot for a new show, Dude, That Sucks, in the girls' native Big Bear (a ski resort two hours north of L.A.). It was part of MTV's "Snowed In" weekend special.
According to the suit, Garcia and Sloat were steered to the side of the stage by MTV staffers, who failed to warn the girls that two men dubbed the "Shower Rangers" were planning to defecate on stage. The men came out dressed in "scouting-type uniforms" and "appeared to be acting out some kind of campfire scene."
The girls' attorney, Gloria Allred, said the Shower Rangers then "turned their backsides to the audience [and] opened a flap on the back of their shorts, exposing their naked buttocks." One of the Rangers spread his cheeks and sprayed the girls.
"We were having a good time until the second act of Dude, This Sucks went on," Garcia told reporters during a press conference to announce the lawsuit.
"All of a sudden I was smelling something disgusting and I started to gag," she added. "I looked around at my friends. They were covered in something. As I looked down at myself I realized that I was, too."
The potty prank naturally didn't go over well with the girls. Garcia and Sloat, both middle school students, say they couldn't hide the incident from their classmates who taunted the duo when they got back to school.
"Everyone knew about it, even some of the teachers," said Sloat. "Most of the kids were cracking jokes or wouldn't come near us because, even though we washed off the feces, they said 'we smelled.' I will never ever forget what a horrible experience this was."
For its part MTV, which is already knee-deep in controversy over Jackass stunts, called the Dude prank a "terrible incident" that will never be repeated.
"It was unintended and we regret that it happened," Brian Graden, MTV's programming president, said in a statement. "I was not aware of the content of this segment prior to the taping, and have taken steps to ensure that an incident of this nature never happens again."
Graden also let it be known that the footage from the pilot "has never and will never air" and said the network vows to address the lawsuit "accordingly through the legal process."
"We are sorry if these women were hurt. It is certainly never our intention to hurt anyone," added Graden.
The girls are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.