MTV has pulled a scene from the next episode of Jersey Shore that showed one of the show's main characters, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, getting punched in the face, TVGuide.com has confirmed.
A clip of the scene was featured in a preview Thursday and went viral soon after. The clip showed an unidentified man jabbing Polizzi's face and subsequently knocking her head back violently.
"What happened to 'Snooki' was a crime and obviously extremely disturbing," MTV said in a 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 to not show the severity of this act or the resulting consequences, MTV has decided not to air 'Snooki' being physically punched in next week's episode."
In the statement, the network also assured fans of the show that the episode will still make clear what events transpired during the night, including the aftermath. The clip has also been removed from YouTube.
After the clip hit the Internet, Polizzi's attacker was identified as a New York City gym teacher named Brad Ferro by the New York Post. Ferro, 24, was arrested that same evening for the assault, from which Polizzi sustained an injury to the mouth, Seaside Heights Detective Steve Korman told the Post.
MTV also said it still plans to air a message at the end of Thursday's episode that shares available resources for those being abused. Resources include 911, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline and loveisrespect.org. The information will also be made available on their website.