« Previous | Ain't too proud to blog | mail it | Next »

Posted: 06.14.2002
I see dead people
I'm the first to admit our country is way too sue-happy for my own liking. But here is a couple suing MTV and the Hard Rock Hotel for $10 million dollars, and based on the facts (haven't seen the photos), I'm not sure if I blame them:

"The couple became unwitting participants in a practical joke filmed for a series under development at MTV called 'Harassment' while they were on vacation in January. 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."

Ok, it's a joke. Sure. I'll give 'em that. Ha ha. Funny. But then I try to put myself in the couple's shoes. Todd and I haven't had a real honest-to-goodness vacation since June of 1999. I guarandamntee you that if we waltzed into our hotel room to finally kick back and relax, and found what appeared to be a MURDER scene, the relaxing would end right then and there. Even if it was a joke. You don't go through that kind of instant-fear -- much less being prevented from fleeing the scene -- and just get over it and go drink by the pool.

Having seen a dead body taken out of the neighbor's house a couple of weeks back, I still don't look left when I go outside. It just creeps me out too much. Yet this couple was expected just to smile, pull down the bloody sheets, and start the vacation? I don't think so. I hope they get their $10 mil. And a free vacation at the Bellagio. (Article from CNN.com.) What do you think?

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

hell yes, I agree that they should win their lawsuit. my vacation would have been OVER had that happened to me. "i'd like a non-smoking, non-boobie trapped room with view please?"

¤ ¤ credit: queen | 06.14.02 at 03:01 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

A prank like poo on a microphone [the infamous Tom Green] is one thing, but that's just over the top. BUT--so is $10 million. If Jesse was really in charge of the shenanigan, they should just sue him in Civil Court to prove a point. I already don't like hotel rooms, but can you imagine finding something like that?! Call me overly sensitive or too analytical, but we're talkin' a PTSD causin' prank, here; there's nothing funny about that.

¤ ¤ credit: Susan | 06.14.02 at 03:05 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I suppose a settlement is in order, but 10 million? that is such bs.

I say repay them the expenses of their vacation, plus the money they would have made if they were at work for the extent of their vacation. That should suffice.

¤ ¤ credit: kismet | 06.14.02 at 05:11 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

They should sue, but 10 million big ones. I don't think so! Maybe $10,000.00

¤ ¤ credit: Mad Bull | 06.14.02 at 06:27 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

There is no doubt that they crossed the line. I have to disagree with kismet's post above. Compensating them only for the money they were actually out isn't enough. I am very much against frivilous lawsuits--don't get me wrong--but I can easily see how this "prank" could stay with that couple for a very long time. Also, that small amount of money that was suggested does nothing to punish the offenders so they don't do something so stupid again...thus the idea of punitive damages. $10 million is too much, but the settlement should definitely be more than just what the couple is out-of-pocket.

¤ ¤ credit: TJ | 06.14.02 at 07:33 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

ok, maybe i'm greedy...lol but $10 million seems reasonable to me. the people who did this to them need to be taught a lesson. do you really think $10 thousand is going to teach MTV a lesson ? i don't. thats pocket change to them. thats a friggin ice cream party to them. they need to hurt so they they know that this type of guerilla attcks on people simply won't be tolerated by people anymore. that joke is so not funny. who would think thats funny? in this day and age, with sept 11th and missing kids and murders happening all the time, we are supposed to be used to death. we see it every day on the news and maybe MTV assumes that we are all numb to violence. but we shouldnt have to be. we shouldnt have to think that pretend dead people is a laughing matter. homicide is not a joke. this joke will stay with that couple for many years. it wont be a pleasant re-telling to the grand kids. it'll be a story saved for rainy nights when you want to scare the crap outta them. and maybe no one is considering that the husband or the wife could have had a heart condition. what if one of them had a heart attack from the stress and died? MTV wouldn't be laughing now would they.

¤ ¤ credit: kat | 06.14.02 at 07:49 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I would be pissed at that interuption to my vacation, too. In fact, I'd probably be too freaked out to enjoy the trip at all. Poor people.

¤ ¤ credit: kristine | 06.14.02 at 07:50 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

in a case like this, 10 mil might these jackasses think twice before they do that again? No?

¤ ¤ credit: jen | 06.14.02 at 08:22 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I completely agree. I find nothing funny about seeing a dead body. What kind of sick humor is that?

¤ ¤ credit: felicia | 06.14.02 at 08:36 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I guess those people that thought that was funny,also thought what happened last year was funny....


¤ ¤ credit: Tammie | 06.14.02 at 09:00 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

mtv goes overboard. big surprise there. yeah, i agree this couple is in the right. something like that is not funny in the slightest. i really see no amusement in it whatsoever. 10 mil does seem a tad extravagent to me...but hey, mtv can afford it no doubt and why not let them pay for this couple's vacations for the next 10 years or so.

i must admit, most of the time i am amused by the suing that goes on in usa. coming from a country where suing is not a popular act, it's rather odd to me. this couple deserves it. but did you hear about the woman suing pirate's booty? she was going to some astronimcal amount. anyway, i'm babbling.

¤ ¤ credit: lor | 06.14.02 at 09:14 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think the lawsuit is severely fucked in my opinion. I do think it sucks what happened and a free stay at the hotel on MTV's bill or something like that is definitely in order, but $10million? Everyone is just way to quick to go to court and this would set one hell of a precidence (sp?) and that is what scares me the most.

¤ ¤ credit: C.C. | 06.14.02 at 09:25 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Vacations? Pay for their vacations? Heh. How about therapy? ;P


No, I don't think the lawsuit is out of line. I think the number is perhaps a bit high but wouldn't go so far down as to say $10,000.00 -- really, will that cover everything? I don't think so. A million, at most. Not a real big dent in MTV's pocket, surely, but it's at least not TOO frivolous.

¤ ¤ credit: VASpider | 06.14.02 at 09:26 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Multi-million dollar lawsuits are great as long as I'm still paying off my law school loans. Anyone been injured in an accident lately. You may have a legal right to compensation for your pain and suffering.

¤ ¤ credit: wKen | 06.14.02 at 10:59 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

In this instance, yes, they should sue. It was a horrible prank that will freak them out for a very long time. It was done without their consent.

Ten Million Dollars? Really? That's quite high. I agree they need therapy, but that's just the Psych Minor in me. I think MTV should compensate them for their trip, a new vacation, their time off work, the therapy they may need to recover from seeing a corpse, and then a nice sum of 500,000.

¤ ¤ credit: annessa | 06.14.02 at 11:04 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I agree with Annessa...with the addition of MTV FIRING whoever it was that approved that stupid gag.

¤ ¤ credit: Tracy | 06.14.02 at 11:36 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'm imagining what might happen if the couple involved here here myself and my hubby, Mike. He had a heart attack a few years ago, that very nearly killed him. If he were to walk in on something like this, I'm almost positive it would cause him to have another one.

If that were the case, we would most definitely be in the right to sue the bastards...for medical bills, lost wages, that kind of thing. If he died, not only would I go for punitive damages, but I'd want to file criminal charges against all involved, get 'em for at least involuntary manslaughter.

But this couple also has the right to sue, although I think 10 mil is a bit much here. But it stil should be enough of a dent in MTV's wallet to make them realize they can't go around doing sick stuff like this to unsuspecting people!

¤ ¤ credit: Christine M. | 06.14.02 at 11:53 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Absolutely, I'd sue. And 10 mil. is only the starting figure. They'll never receive that much, but you have to shoot for the moon to give them somewhere to go in a settlement. And I wonder just how much MTV hoped to make in advertising revenue for this particular segment. Something to think about.

¤ ¤ credit: Christine | 06.14.02 at 12:06 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

i think they're suing for $10 mil because in most cases like this, the award is a lot smaller than what the people actually sued for. yanno, that whole "if you want $5 from your mom, ask for $10" thing.

and i am all for getting a good, hearty laugh at someone else's expense... but a dead body? that's just fucked up. man, those MTV folks are idiots. hello, look at The Jamie Kennedy Experiment or even the new SpyTV. those both go pretty far, and they're funny as hell, and they won't require therapy for the victims! get a freakin clue, MTV!

¤ ¤ credit: mikey | 06.14.02 at 12:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I agree with most of you, the "joke" was way out of line. Since when did death become humor or entertainment. They probably will need therapy after this, and imagine how long it will be before they are able to enter a hotel/motel room again. Makes me glad we have a 32' trailer to camp in, I know what's in it, and no possibilities of any dead bodies--unless Robyn's step dad makes me angry! :)

¤ ¤ credit: mama | 06.14.02 at 01:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

It's definitely not funny, but I guess I get pissed off when I see people getting millions over things like this when I went through something far worse that I've had to live forever with and got far less compensation. Heh.

¤ ¤ credit: renee | 06.14.02 at 01:29 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I agree that their are too many people filing nuisance lawsuits but in this case i hope they give them the whole darn network.Behavior that should't be accepted by school children has somehow become adult humor.Would it be funny if they were the ones who were traumatized?Robyn-you nailed it-as usual.

¤ ¤ credit: JoeW | 06.14.02 at 01:32 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Holla at that noise sista!! I'd sure as hell not be relaxing at all if I saw what appeared to be a dead body in my hotel room. All in the name of a prank, that's just taking it a wee bit too far. I don't even sleep if I see a spider before I go to bed. guhhhhhhhhhh.

¤ ¤ credit: statia | 06.14.02 at 02:26 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Not even just things like heart conditions - people have been known to manifest or aggrevate emotional/mental disorders over this sort of trauma. It couldn't really be said that I'm a particularly sensitive person, but if it were me, I'd sue them - if only because the odds of me having to suspend my studies indefinitely would be very high, which would in turn mean I wouldn't be able to pursue my chosen career for an indefinite amount of time...

¤ ¤ credit: Tina | 06.14.02 at 02:32 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Following their trend with "Jackass", maybe they'll name this show "Dumbass".

¤ ¤ credit: Tracy | 06.14.02 at 03:06 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Tracy : Good one ! :-o

¤ ¤ credit: JoeW | 06.14.02 at 03:19 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

ITA with you Robyn. I hope they win!

¤ ¤ credit: Julie | 06.14.02 at 03:50 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Mikey hit my $10 mil rationale right on the head. They won't ever get that much (especially when you figure in their lawyer's cut) -- and a settlement will be MUCH less than that in the end, because you pretty much know there will be one eventually.

But $10K as I've seen mentioned doesn't even begin to cover the post-traumatic stress type of mental trauma you know they had to go through and will go through for quite awhile. And if you take out the attorney's fees on a mere $10K award (knowing MTV makes more than that on just one 30-second commercial), they'd be lucky to end up with enough in the end for airfare and a week on the beach somewhere. That's less than the cost of a really nice cruise.

I agree with the ones who say "hit 'em where it hurts". Asking for $10 million because your coffee was too damn hot? Cry me a river... Asking for $10 million because they put a bloody, dead body in your hotel room and held you prisoner with security guards? You're damn right!

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 06.14.02 at 04:28 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

reckon I agree with Robyn. Ya know, the funny thing is that what almost offends me most is the holding them hostage part. Isn't Ashton whatever that pretty 70's Show boy?? Or am I mistaken? Been a few years since I watched that. If so, that makes the whole general situation even funnier.

I mean, it is such an unfunny prank -- as an outside observer I have to laugh at the situation of it all, particularly MTV's pathetic boneheadedness, just as I had to laugh at the boneheadedness of my best friend's uncle (her father, mind you, is Austin's representative to the US Congress - big crowd of important people in following situation) who gave a toast at their rehearsal dinner in which he first spelled out that all men could be A-S-S es and that women needed to just deal with it by letting them put their feet up and bringing them a beer, and that all women could be [we were expecting b-i-t-c-h-e-s here, mind you] C-U-N-T-S and that men just had to learn to tune them out, or something like that.

All very, very massively unfunny, yet so hysterical that it should actually have ever happened. Well, I hope those fellers get some money, anyhow. At least Tom Green didn't put lesbians on their car while they were gone.

¤ ¤ credit: hanninchen | 06.14.02 at 04:48 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

You are correct! Ashton Kutcher of "That 70s Show" and "Dude, Where's My Car?" fame...

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 06.14.02 at 04:53 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Practical jokes are neither. I guess MTV is finding that out.

¤ ¤ credit: Andrea Harris | 06.16.02 at 04:59 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

URLs that have pinged me for this entry:

All old ping links have been removed from this blog. Die spammers, die!

Hey pretty, don't you wanna take a ride with me through my world?

Psssssst...pass it on!
email this entry to:

your email address:

additional message (optional):