Old Episode of ‘The Challenge’ Omitted From Netflix Offerings Due to Footage of Female Housemates Bullying Tonya Cooley & Taking Nude Pics Of Her Without Her Consent

“Why not show it, Netflix?”

Netflix is giving new life to old seasons of several MTV reality shows, including The Challenge. However, the “new life” has also brought out some old episodes with some very disturbing footage that did not age well.

TMZ broke the news over the weekend that Netflix has filtered an episode out of the new ‘Challenge’ offerings, due to some controversial footage featuring female contestants bullying housemate Tonya Cooley during a behind-the-scenes clips episode from 2005’s “Inferno 2” season.

The episode also shows the three girls— Tina BartaVeronica Portillo and Rachel Robinson— taking photos of a naked Tonya while she slept, and then showing the nude pics to other people in the house.

TMZ reports that the episode is not available for viewing because, while the footage aired in 2005, it would not do well in the current culture.

“2005 was just a different time, and things that might have been seen as funny or entertaining back then, just don’t fly today,” the site reports. 

“In 15 years we still won’t be laughing at this…”

Tonya was the victim of bullying and torment on several seasons of the show (back when it was still called Road Rules/Real World Challenge). In fact, Tonya— who first appeared on The Real World: Chicago in 2002— ended up suing MTV, the Bunim-Murray production company and two of her former cast mates, Kenny Santucci and Evan Starkman, claiming that she was sexually assaulted while in a ‘Challenge’ house.

The alleged sexual assault that occurred during ‘The Ruins’ and is sometimes called “The Toothbrush Incident.” 

In the lawsuit, which ended in an undisclosed settlement that precludes all involved parties from discussing it publicly, Tonya alleged that while passed out drunk, Kenny and Evan sexually assaulted her with a toothbrush. Susie said she wasn’t aware of the incident until the lawsuit was brought forward two years later. Kenny and Evan have not appeared on a season of ‘The Challenge’ since the lawsuit. (Several cast members who were present the night of the alleged assault told Buzzfeed News in 2016 that Tonya was not assaulted as she claimed in the lawsuit.) 

Anyway, some of the viewers who are watching the old seasons of ‘The Challenge’ on Netflix commented on social media about the bullying Tonya endured over multiple seasons of the show. (She did eight seasons, with her last being “The Ruins,” which she got kicked off of after she slapped Veronica in the face.) 

“Rewatching The Challenge and those girls were brutal to Tonya,” one person tweeted last month.


“Omg I never knew Veronica & them did this to Tonya? That’s really problematic…” another person wrote. 

“I love rewatching the Real World Challenges, but they also make me so sad to see how Veronica & her bitchy clique treat Tonya. At least the world is getting a reminder of what a vicious, ugly person Veronica really is at her core,” another tweeted.

In 2016, Tonya— who has kept an extremely low profile since her time on MTV— told Buzzfeed News that being on MTV took a toll on her health.

“I was drinking too much and it … stopped being a game of sport for me and I [made] some unhealthy choices,” she said, “…I’m not going to hide the fact I became an alcoholic on the show. I was a great competitor, but I was just lost personally. Mentally, I wasn’t mature enough to handle some of the situations I was in and, in turn, I drank a lot.”

RELATED STORY: ‘The Challenge’ Star Stephen Bear Arrested in London for Allegedly Filming & Sharing Intimate Video of Ex Georgia Harrison Without Her Consent

(Photos: MTV)

12 Responses

  1. This behavior was acceptable back then… Jersey shore. Perfect example! One of the most watched shows and when you watch it now it’s absolutely disgusting! Times have changed for the better because we opened our eyes to how dysfunctional that era was.

  2. If it would be cathartic to Tonya, I wish she’d be allowed to speak on her experience. The world needs to hear stories like this and every last f*ck involved in her assault and torment should be held accountable. We’ve heard for years about Evan and Kenny, but the women have gotten away with their behavior.

    Would love to see someone like a Chrissy Teigen to pay the penalties to let Tonya out of her agreement (I think it was Chrissy that has offered this before to other victims silenced by NDAs).

  3. I always felt sorry for Tonya. Veronica especially was a mean, mean girl who thought she was all that. At the very least those three girls should have been kicked off the show, never to return.

  4. Yet Netflix still had on its streaming service a movie, which can be described as soft core kiddie p0rn! Please!

  5. “2005 was just a different time, and things that might have been seen as funny or entertaining back then, just don’t fly today,” the site reports.“

    I can assure MTV that taking nude photos of a woman without her consent and sexually assaulting her with a toothbrush wasn’t ever funny or entertaining. Even in 2005! They should have had charges brought against them.

    And, Veronica has always been a bitch right along with her pathetic little crew that decided to be mean girls and bullies. It’s not the first time they’ve crossed the line.

  6. Go Tonya. She could come off brash in the challenge seasons but no one deserves to have nude photos taken without their consent or be sexually assaulted. The network deserves the lawsuits.

    1. Nah, MTV. It wasn’t cool then, and it still isn’t cool now. Tonya deserves justice and an apology from those women. I personally believe her about the sexual assault. Anyone who watched Evan and Kenny back then remembers how awful they were. They thought they could do whatever they wanted. It was toxic masculinity and bullying wrapped in one, and I believe whole heartedly that they assaulted her.

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