The assault comes in the middle of a slew of apparently drunken fight scenes in the trailer (warning: guys whooping in the background when she gets punched), at least one of which involves a girl hitting a guy in the face with the back of her hand. But nothing matches the shock of seeing a burly man swing with a closed fist at Snookie.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported in August that 23-year-old Long Islander Brad Ferro had been arrested for punching Snookie after he stole her drink at a bar. He had already been warned by bouncers to stop drinking. According to the paper, "Ferro was arrested on simple-assault and disorderly-person charges. The cast member was not treated."
The episode hasn't even aired yet, but the clip has been made into an animated GIF and is already showing up, approvingly, on several blogs and forums like that of Bodybuilding.com. It's described as "the most gratifying animated gif you will ever see," and commenters exult at watching it over and over again. What thrill do the viewers get out of watching this woman get hit, apparently unprovoked? Well, there's this.
Regardless of the context, it's hard not to find the clip and commentary chilling. Does it matter that there are plenty of young women getting into brawls in these clips? Such footage is clearly a reality show jackpot, so it's hard to imagine MTV showing restraint on the clip, but should they have? We asked MTV for more information about the decision to air it, and will let you know if and when we hear back.