Former The Real World cast member Tonya Cooley is suing MTV over their inability to protect her from sexual assault during the filming of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins. According to TMZ, Cooley is claiming that several male cast members violated her with a toothbrush while she was passed out, and the producers of the show knew, as it was on camera, but did nothing, even after Cooley reported it to them:
Cooley says producers not only knew about the rape, they even replaced the toothbrush, but never told her what happened.
They replaced the toothbrush?! That somehow pushes it over the top into pure evil territory. Like, sexual assault is totes cool, but God forbid any inanimate object in the house doesn’t sparkle.
The suit also claims that female cast members had their bathing suits taken away and male castmates were encouraged to touch them inappropriately. What in the fucking fuck.
This suit is ironic in light of the fact that Cooley was ultimately kicked off the show for slapping another cast member. Apparently, in the eyes of MTV, rape is okay, but slapping someone in the face (maybe because they raped you?) makes you an utter menace to society. (Allegedly.)
Sadly, I don’t know if Cooley’s suit will get very far, because you basically sign away your right not to be killed when you go on one of MTV’s reality shows. Then again, maybe it’s time for a judge to make a landmark decision that a TV show cannot legally take your basic rights away, no matter how much money or how many lawyers it has working for it.