Vol. 1, Issue 16, September 2, 2003
MTV Producers Arrested For Trying To Incite Spears/Aguilera Fight
Three producers of a new MTV series in production were arrested yesterday and charged with conspiracy to commit assault in connection with the MTV Video Music Awards.
Randolph Brown, 35; Marvin Estwiler, 27; and Geri DiCastro, 31, were producers for a new series provisionally entitled "MTV A-List Brawlz." The show is intended to build upon the cult popularity of the MTV show "Celebrity Deathmatch," in which claymation figures of celebrities battle to the death.
"We believed that there was a market for taking this phenomenon to the next level of realism," said Sumner Redstone, CEO of MTV's parent company, Viacom. "MTV has been bringing cutting-edge, innovative reality programming to viewers for years. People want to see real celebrities in real fights. It's regrettable that, in this instance, an isolated group of employees chose to act outside the bounds of the law in order to produce that programming."
In briefs filed with the court, the "Brawlz" producers have apparently been conspiring to incite a fight between pop singing sensations Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears for several months.
"There is a pre-existing and frequently bitter rivalry between those two, so they're a natural choice," said entertainment critic Wing Chun, from the website Fametracker. "But come on. MTV couldn't have waited a little longer? You know Britney and Christina are going to have at each other with knives eventually. Possibly even in a mud pit."
"It is expensive to shadow someone 24/7 with a video crew, especially when they aren't providing the sexy combat footage you want," said Redstone.
Apparently unsatisfied with the results of an extended campaign of planted tabloid rumors and an enormous bribe to fellow pop star Justin Timberlake, the producers took more aggressive action during the awards ceremony. According to court documents, during the Spears/Aguilera number during the MTV awards show, Brown, Estwiler and DiCastro piped insults sampled from the two singers' albums onto the stage. The intention was to provoke the singers into a catfight, "preferably with Madonna involved too." Assorted weapons were hidden throughout the set for use in the event of a fight. Although the recorded insults were initially successful in angering the singers, Aguilera eventually noticed that the insults Spears was supposedly screaming at her were coming from a different part of the stage.
Despite the arrests, MTV apparently has plans to continue with the show.
"Look for "Brawlz" to make a stunning debut during sweeps," said Redmond. "You won't be disappointed."