Couple Sues MTV Over Hidden-Camera 'Corpse' Prank: ... Upon entering the hotel room, the Ryans "discovered what appeared to be a dead human body covered and surrounded by blood, evidently the victim of a homicide," as hidden cameras recorded their shock, the suit says. As the couple tried to flee, two actors posing as security guards blocked their way, and a third individual in the guise of a paramedic entered the room. The show's host and co-producer, Ashton Kutcher, who has described the series in interviews as a "guerrilla-style Candid Camera," finally emerged to reveal the prank.
Ha. Ha. Bloody. Ha.
You know ... I truly hope that MTV loses this suit. Loses badly, too. I mean, no, I don't imagine that the couple will get $10 million. I don't imagine that they'll even get $1 million, if it goes through trial to judgement. However, I do imagine they'll win, which is the important part. Pranks are one thing, but this went well beyond obnoxious. (To be honest, I would expect MTV/Viacom to make dedicated efforts to settle this. The amount is a sort of reverse harassment, to be sure, but most juries will be signally unamused by this sort of thing. They might well pick a higher amount of punitive damages to send MTV a signal that it needs to be better behaved.)
According to Yahoo/Reuters' slightly more detailed story, "Kutcher previously described the show as a sort of "guerrilla Candid Camera" that would poke fun at older people." Because that's what older people want, isn't it? To be the butt of practical jokes so that MTV's teenaged target audience can have a good laugh. I know that's what I look forward to!
I would also imagine that a "guerrila candid-camera style" show called "Harassment" will find itself in court quite frequently, so MTV should probably get used to this sort of thing.
Who knows what we might see in future episodes? With a little luck, this could be a real Harassment feature sometime soon.Posted by iain at June 18, 2002 12:29 AM