MTV has announced that it has pulled a scene from the next episode of Jersey Shore that shows lead star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi getting punched in the face.
In the scene - which went viral after it was previewed during this past Thursday's show - a man is seen knocking Polizzi's face back violently at a club. The New York Post has identified her attacker as New York City gym teacher Lou Ferro, 24, who was arrested that same evening for the assault (which left Polizzi, 21, with an injury to the mouth), according to the Post.
"What happened to "Snooki" was a crime and obviously extremely disturbing," MTV said in a statement Friday. "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."
The network said the episode will still make clear what events happened that night and plans to air a message at the end of the show listing available resources for those in abusive relationships.
The clip has also been removed from YouTube.
Jersey Shore has come under fire by Italian-Americans, who claim the show exploits a stereotype. Italian-American Alyssa Milano told Usmagazine.com the show -- about eight self-described "guidos" and "guidettes" on the Jersey Shore -- "upset" her.
UNICO National, the nation's largest Italian American service organization, has even asked MTV to cancel the show.
But Polizzi said people need to relax. On The Wendy Williams Show Friday, she said "'guidos' and 'guidettes' are good-looking people that, you know, like to make a scene and be center of attention and just take care of themselves ... We're 22 to 29 just having fun at the shore. They are just taking it way out of proportion."