April 6, 2001 -- Two teenage girls have filed a lawsuit against cable music channel MTV, saying they were sprayed with excrement as they stood next to the stage during the taping of the aptly named Dude, This Sucks.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, is charging infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and battery over the incident, which took place last January at an MTV festival in Big Bear, a mountain community near L.A.
Brian Graden, the network's president of programming, admitted that the incident took place and apologized, vowing that the footage will never be aired. He said in a statement, "This was a terrible incident. It was unintended and we regret that it happened. 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 … The footage from the show, part of a pilot taped on remote location, has never and will never air. We are sorry if these women were hurt. It is certainly never our intention to hurt anyone."
Monique Garcia and Kelli Sloat, who were 13 at the time, said they were invited to stand near the stage during the taping of the show and were given no warning that two men calling themselves the Shower Rangers would defecate onstage.
"We were having a good time until the second act of Dude, This Sucks went on," Garcia, a middle-school student in Big Bear, said at a press conference to announce the lawsuit. "All of a sudden, I was smelling something disgusting and I started to gag. I looked around at my friends. They were covered in something. As I looked down at myself, I realized that I was too."
Gloria Allred, a prominent Los Angeles attorney representing the two girls, said Garcia and Sloat attended Dude, That Sucks expecting to see a new MTV variety show and that they were ushered next to the stage by staff members.
Allred said the girls, along with four friends, watched crewmembers cover camera equipment with plastic tarps before the Shower Rangers, who are not named in the lawsuit, took the stage.
Reuters contributed to this report.