Netflix Removes Controversial Episode of ‘The Challenge’ From Platform

The Challenge Netflix

Getty/MTV The Challenge on Netflix

Two seasons of The Challenge were added to U.S. Netflix on December 15, 2020, the 10th episode titled Inferno II and the 13th episode titled The Duel, both of which are officially known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge. However, fans have recently noticed that one of the episodes, which featured behind-the-scenes clips, was removed from the streaming platform.

The episode in question was the final episode of Inferno II, titled “To Hell & Back: Hot Gossip from the Inferno 2,” which aired in 2005 instead of the usual post-season reunion show. The episode featured a controversial scene between several female contestants: Veronica Portillo, Rachel Robinson and Tina Barta, who called themselves the “Mean Girls” during the season, and their frequent target, Tonya Cooley. In this episode, a behind-the-scenes clip showed the three women taking photos of Tonya while she slept nude and showing them to other cast members.

The episode was originally added to the platform with the rest of the season, as fans discussed on social media that they watched it when the show was originally added to Netflix, but it has since been removed. Neither Netflix nor MTV has provided a comment about why the episode was removed from the streaming giant’s library but fans have speculated that it may be because Tonya sued MTV for sexual assault for a separate incident on a later season of the show.

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Tonya Sued MTV for Sexual Assault That She Says Occurred on Another Season of the Show & the Lawsuit Has Since Been Settled

Tonya Cooley

GettyTonya Cooley

Tonya appeared on several other Challenges after Inferno II and her last appearance was on The Ruins in 2009. After that season, Tonya sued MTV and claimed she’d been sexually assaulted by a couple of the cast members on the Ruins season.

The lawsuit was filed on October 27, 2011, against Bunim/Murray Productions, MTV and fellow cast members Kenny Santucci and Evan Starkman and it claimed that the two competitors “took another male participant’s toothbrush and … insert[ed] the toothbrush into [the] plaintiff’s vagina” when she was passed out, according to Hollywood Reporter’s published copy of the lawsuit.

A response from Viacom, MTV’s parent company, stated that Tonya was sent home from The Ruins because “she violently struck another contestant.” It also stated that “In addition to failing to avail herself of VMN’s policies and complaint procedures, [Tonya] failed to avoid the injuries of which she complains. For example, while she was a contestant on The Ruins, [Tonya] was frequently intoxicated … rowdy, combative, flirtatious,” the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

The lawsuit was settled in October 2012 and the details of the settlement have not been made public. In an interview with BuzzFeed News in 2016, Tonya said she was now sober and was running her own hair salon. She said fans of the show would be shocked to see her now: “I am a genuinely happy person now. I still have a bit of the wild and crazy Tonya in me, but I’ve learned to balance her out. It would have been nice to have people see that I actually made it.”


2 Seasons of ‘The Challenge’ Were Added to the Streaming Platform on December 15, ‘Inferno II’ & ‘The Duel’

Netflix added two seasons of the long-running MTV show on its platform in December 2020, the 10th season and the 13th season and fans will be hoping to see more added in the future. The 10th season, known as Inferno II, featured two teams of contestants named the “Good Guys” and the “Bad A**es,” hosted for the second and final time by BMX rider Dave Mirra. It was filmed in Manzanillo, Mexico, and aired in the spring of 2005.

The second season added to the streaming platform was The Duel, the 13th season of the show and the first to feature no teams, with every contestant playing on their own. The season was filmed in Búzios, Brazil, and originally aired in the fall and winter of 2006-2007. It was the third season hosted by TJ Lavin, who is now hosting his 26th season of the show and the 36th season overall, The Challenge: Double Agents.

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