I set myself on fire but it's MTV's fault

In a report from CNN found here a kid set himself on fire because he’d seen it on an MTV show called “Jackass”.

Hello?! The guy was wearing a fireproof suit!!! It’s television, people!! Now this kid is in critical (but stable) condition at the hospital with 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

The kid’s parents, neighbors, and friends want to lay (at least some of) the blame on MTV, despite repeated warnings during the show that "this is being done by professionals…under very strict control and supervision…the producers insist that neither you or anyone else attempt to recreate or perform anything you have seen on this show.’ "

Are we such sheep that we now push off responsibility for our own actions and then lay the blame for our stupidity at the feet of television networks?

Next thing you know, people will be blaming teen suicide on rock music or role playing games.


I can see it now…a whole list of organizations to be sued:
-MTV (failed to issue appropriate warnings)
-the cable channey carrying MTV (see above)
-mfg. of asbestos suit
-BUT, MOST o9f the balme should go to Shell/Exxon/BP, etc.-all gasolinr should carry a warning label:
-How many must die, before the gasoline people put this warning label on their products??

I know a lot of people who would say yes, but I’m not one of those people. The responsibility lies with the parents, in my opinion. My parents censored everything I watched as a kid, and that’s how it should be. They didn’t rely on the government or television to raise me. They did it themselves.

I’d like to type a lot more, but if I do, this will start to look more like a pit thread. I’m just going to leave the floor open to someone else.

<“I don’t wanna grow up…”>

I, for one, love MTV’s Jackass. It has the highest laugh-per-minute ratio of any show I’ve ever seen. Sure these dudes do stupid shit like pushing themselves in shopping carts into bushes. And sure they end up doing damage to public property. And sure they run around on the street making themselves look like total asses…but that’s the name of the show! Jackass! It’s the shit you’d never catch me doing…but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do as a kid!

And it’s all these stupid kids’ faults for ruining all us adults fun. Like the whole Beavis and Butthead thing. And now this. If Jackass leaves the air, I swear I’m gonna set myself on fire and blame the stupid kid for it!

Thank you.

</“I’m still a Toys ‘&#1071’ Us Kid…”>

I remember the last time MTV was in this same kind of trouble, when a 5-year-old child burned down his family’s trailer, killing himself in the process, with a lighter and the mother blamed it on “Beavis & Butt-Head.” Turns out the place didn’t even get cable television. Whoops! Nevertheless, MTV caved, removed any reference to fire from existing episodes, forbade it on future episodes, and moved the show to a later time slot.

Damn, my backwards “R” didn’t work…oh well, you get the idea…I hate stupid kids…

The kid was 13 years old, which is plenty old enough to know
not to set yourself on fire! MTV airs warnings at every commercial break, so they are off the hook. If the little moron hadn’t imitated "Jackass,’ he would have found some other damn fool thing to do. Judging by the brainless
reactions of his family, we should be grateful that the dimwit did his best to take himself out of the reproduction derby, earning him a Darwin Awards Honorable Mention, at least.

The little oatmeal-for-brains kid should at least have noticed that Johnny Knoxville was wearing a flame-proof suit!

</“I’m still a Toys ‘ß’ Us Kid…”>

You just have to submit from the preview page.

Natural selection at it’s bes… err… the kid survived?

Oh well. In theory it works.

I love “Jackass”. The last episode they were running around in armor and dueling on football fields and tennis courts, as well as jousting on BMX bikes. There is a huge disclaimer before and after the show. And after every commercial break too. It says something like “The stunts are being performed by professionals and/or total idiots. Don’t try it yourself.” At the end of the show it says the effect of “Don’t mail us tapes of you doing stupid shit, we won’t even open it”.

I think there is no fault to lay on MTV this time. They learned from beavis and butthead (that show had no disclaimer).

Plus, on the show he dons a fireproof suit for the stunt in question. If you don’t have a fireproof suit, then don’t set yourself on fire. I say the kid’s an idiot, and while I feel bad for him, it’s his own fault.

I think I’m going to sue Robbie Knievel because I hurt myself trying to jump a car with my motorcycle. I didn’t see any disclaimers on his show.

It friggin’ looked right when I previewed. I guess “Toys Esstset Us” would be a pretty dumb name, though.

At some point, we let our kids go off on their own and we assume a certain amount of risk in that. I know it’s not PC to call kids stupid, but for crissakes, some kids are dumb enough to light themselves on fire…they are.

The parents of said kid try to blame everyone but themselves.

This kid poured GASOLINE on himself and lit it because he saw somebody else doing it (actually, when done w/ lighter fluid, the trick isn’t 1/10 as dangerous…guess junior wasn’t paying attention…ooh! get him some Rittelin too! ).

Hmmm…if little Johnny came home with a note from the teacher that said he cut a class, and his defense to his parents was, “Everybody else did it”, his parents would say, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” This rhetorical question is a parents’ way of saying that of course you WOULDN’T jump off the bridge because it’s dangerous. Of course any reasonble person/kid wouldn’t jump because someone else did it. There are exceptions. This dopey kid was an exception. After Deer Hunter, there were a number of DUMB ASS adults who died playing Russian Roulette. Thye were DUMB - period. How can someone else be held liable for your stupidity?

Look, I feel bad for the kid and his family, but that doesn’t mean that anyone should be liable other than the kid and his parents.

His parents guessed that he was bright enough to be left with different things around him - stuff you wouldn’t leave around a child that was dumb enough to hurt himself -like gasoline. His parents guessed wrong. Their child wasn’t at the point developmentaly that they thought. If he were, he wouldn’t be in the hospital w/ 3rd degree burns.

I pity the fool who gets in here and tried to make a case about MTV’s liability.

Cape does not enable you to fly.



Unbelievable. And one thinks that the stupid warnings are just for hypothetical situations.

Already happened. Ozzy Osbourne I think.

My reaction exactly.

The only fault I can find with MTV’s role is that they employ stunts that, if emulated at home, don’t guarantee the kids inability to contribute to the gene pool. Maybe MTV’s in cahoots with Jerry Springer. MTV gets the kids now, Jerry gets 'em when they’re a bit older.

I thought B&B did have some sort of a disclaimed at the beginning of every 30 min. episode. So that didn’t legally clear MTV of any stupid-doing by kids back then?

Reminds me of a situation a few years ago – A movie came out (I can’t remember the name of it) that involved a scene where teenagers went out and laid in the street, with their heads in the driving lane, at night, as some sort of bizarre Russian Roulette ritual. I don’t believe anyone was hurt in the movie, which in any case wasn’t, y’know, real, it was a movie.

So some kids who had seen it went out and laid down in the road and one or more of them was run over and killed. And their parents sued to producers of the movie. I believe (I hope) the case was thrown out.

Jeez, next thing you know people will be suing because their kids drove off a cliff after seeing Thelma and Louise. I agree that it’s natural selection in action and should be respected as such.

Jodi, it was The Program. Stupid thing about that was that in the movie they were lying down in the middle (along the yellow lines) of a busy, but straight, road. IRL, however, these kids were laying down on a road that was curvy as all hell (assuming the reporters I saw on TV were at the right spot). I mean, there’s dumb, and there’s DUMB. :rolleyes:

Oh, and that scene was edited out of the movie when it came out on video.

I saw a news report about this on CBS, and it infuriated me. The reporter said that some legal smart-asses didn’t think MTV’s disclaimers were effective enough - “People just ignore them.”

I’m tired of people calling for social responsibility in the press because they think the magic bullet theory of the mass media is actually valid. If it were true that people are compelled to do what they see on TV, then the networks should try this…

<Enter Dan Rather>

Hello everybody. I’m Dan Rather. Please send all your disposable income to me, care of the network. Cashiers checks only, please.

</Dan Rather>

Does anyone seriously think this would work?

For those that actually do, do you think we’re headed toward a Disnified world in which every exposed surface has 3 inches of foam padding on it to prevent us from hurting ourselves?

Yes, it does suck when people hurt themselves. But should we put pressure on the media to change the way they entertain simply because some people are too stupid to pay attention to disclaimers? Any kid who is old enough to procure gasoline and some matches should know better.

I posted this in the other Jackass thread, but I heard on the radio yesterday, some woman called in and said, “Sure, they put up warnings, but they’re PRINTED, not SAID ALOUD, We’re expected to READ the Warnings, and so it’s not enough.”

WHAT THE HELL? What in god’s name do these people want? In a few years, television is going to be twenty five minutes of disclaimers and one little sketch.