Next on Teen Mom: Amber punches Gary in the head

*********Please read my follow-up post about the full episode and MTV’s response to airing footage of domestic violence.*********

MTV, you’ve got some ‘splainin to do.

Last year, you showed a clip of Snookie (Jersey Shore) getting punched in the face by a guy in your “coming next week” clip. There was outrage. The scene was not shown again, and the episode was followed with information about violence and assault.

This week on Teen Mom, you showed a clip of Amber punching her baby’s father Gary in the head. She punched his head into a wall.

Where is the outrage?

So far, I have not seen anyone being upset or making waves about this. Where is the uproar that we saw when Snookie was punched?

We already saw Amber physically assault Gary in the first season of Teen Mom (video). We also learned (although we didn’t see it happen) about when Farrah’s mother attacked her and was arrested for domestic assault. These incidents created a bit of a stir, but nothing compared to the Snookie punch.

I would venture a guess to say that people got up in arms about the Snookie punch because it was a man hitting a woman. In the case of Teen Mom, it is a woman – a young woman – hitting a man.

Although it’s admittedly problematic to place value judgments on “kinds of violence,” I would argue that showing domestic violence on TV without any comment on it is much worse than showing a bar fight. The Snookie punch was the result of a drunken fight among strangers. Amber’s punch is evidence of ongoing, escalating, domestic violence – an issue that is frighteningly common, and about which many are ignorant.

Amber has custody of their daughter Leah. Gary, the victim of Amber’s abuse, has begun to vocalize that he does not feel it is safe to leave Leah with Amber after she kicks him out during a fight. In this week’s episode, after she screams in his face and threatens to punch him – her fist coming within an inch of his face – he does, in fact, take the baby with him.

This situation is fucking scary. Where are the PSAs? Where is the outrage?

When I did a Twitter search for “Teen Mom punch” the only results I got were other viewers saying they would like to punch Amber in the face, or that Gary should punch Amber in the face. There IS a need for domestic violence education, and MTV is once again, being irresponsible. This is a perfect opportunity to do some real, meaningful work around relationship violence awareness – one that I fear will be a missed opportunity.

The only reason MTV censored the Snookie punch and provided educational info after the episode aired, limited as it was, was because of pressure from public outrage. We need to put that pressure back on MTV to make it clear that the kind of domestic abuse and violence we are seeing on Teen Mom is NOT OKAY, and that it is irresponsible for the network to air it without providing educational information about violence.

Please help by spreading the word about this. Facebook it, Tweet it, get the big blogs like Jezebel and Feministing or news sites to cover it. Share this blog post or write your own.

This type of violence should not be aired on MTV without educational information to put it in context. Help spread the word – to MTV and everyone else – that domestic violence is wrong, even when the attacker is a woman.

*********Please read my follow-up post about the full episode and MTV’s response to airing footage of domestic violence.*********

28 thoughts on “Next on Teen Mom: Amber punches Gary in the head

  1. What gives??? Amber has been violent to both Gary as well as daughter Leah (screaming when the young one is upset telling her to “shut up”) I am amazed at this being allowed to continue without anyone saying something. However i am sure if Gary hit Amber it would be the lead story on every news channel! Domestic Violence can be committed by a woman too! MTV please do something for the saftey and well being of this baby!

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. It is like MTV is promoting domestic violence to increase their ratings. Amber should go to jail, and MTV should take her off the air. She is a violent, whiny, lazy, and horrible person, as well as a bad mother. She takes no responsibility for the mishaps in her life; instead she blames everyone else. In addition, there is absolutely NO JUSTIFICATION for her putting her hands on someone else. If there is a petition out there to get MTV to take her off the show; I will be the first to sign it.

    • noo I want to see what she’s got coming to her on the show. SHe has problmes she like “DONT YELL AT ME” and I’m like so like what?!? No one was yelling, Gary, I’ve never heard him yell and all AMber says is dont yell at me she’s crazy and she treats Leah like a possesion like “I have custody over my daughter” not “She’s my baby I love her you’re not taking her,” no It’s like you’re not taking what’s mine like she’s the tv or something

      • I agree when I left my abusive husband he got visitation of my 18 month old daughter and I cryed the whole time that she was gone which was for 5 hours at a time and 2 days a week so just the way that she acted when he took the baby and didnt come back for 4 days and she really didnt care that was wrong. And while the baby was gone why didnt she get up and clean her dirty house.

  3. I agree with all the above statements. But let’s wait until the episode actually airs and see if they put any educational info on domestic violence. The fact that she just left a knife laying there and then whined when Gary brought it up, is disgusting. She literally sits around all day long, Leah plays by herself. When leah is upset she goes into another room, yells for her to shut up, and then shuts the door. WTF is wrong with this picture. She needs to clean her house for Leah’s safety, and Gary needs to take Amber to court for Leah’s custody. He seems like a better fit parent….

    • I agree that we don’t actually know if MTV is planning to air educational info with the episode. Still – when we think about what happened with the Snookie punch – which they also first aired exactly the same way in a “preview” for next week’s episode, there was so much outrage that I really didn’t think they would do the same thing twice. And since they didn’t see a problem with airing the clip as part of next week’s preview… I doubt that MTV sees this clip as being the same issue as the Snookie punch, probably because it’s a girl hitting a boy instead of the other way round.

  4. I think it’s extremely horrible that there showing Amber hitting Gary but not just hitting there full blown punches that knock his head sideways a little bit. That’s just awful! I’m going to court now for me and my girlfriend getting in an argument and her trying to take away my backpack and the bag hit her and I’m now getting a assault 4 charge! And i actually love my girlfriend and would never hurt her! Just because it’s Amber punching Gary and not Gary punching Amber it’s not that big a deal. NO! Amber should be put behind bars and for the judge being able to witness all Amber’s crazy outburst’s and psycho moment’s baby Leah should be put into Gary’s custody. Easy as that. Someone needs to get that crazy girl away from Gary before she ends up killing him my god! And for the side note BREAK UP ALREADY! Your not compatible for one another! and Gary lose some weight brotha your getting bigger! More girls will like you if you did not crazy one’s anymore either.

  5. THANK YOU for posting this! I am always baffled when violence of any kind is excused, especially domestic violence like this where it is a female abusing a male, and she sees no repercussions, and culturally, she seems to get a free pass because she’s a female. Violence is violence no matter what gender the perpetrator is! This couple in particular worries me the most on the show, because Amber is so extremely verbally abusive as well. It’s difficult to watch, and I have to wonder if we aren’t excusing it by tuning in and not being outraged.

  6. Amber is a lazy, pathetic excuse for a mother. Her abusive relationship with Gary is sickening. If Leah grows up in an environment like that she might think that she can hit her own husband one day or even think that it’s okay to be a victim of it too. Amber needs to be in jail and have Leah taken away. She is an angry, and crazy oompa loompa. Gary should grow a pair and dump her.

  7. I watch this show with my 15 year old son.
    Amber is horrible. She is abusive and this isn’t the first time she’s assaulted Gary physically.
    Even my son says, “God…how desperate can that guy be?”
    I totally understand Gary wanting to keep his family together, but seriously….how many women stay in abusive relationships for the sake of the family? It has to end at some point.
    Gary needs to get the hell away from Amber and Amber needs to go to jail and be ordered into a domestic violence program. She should have only supervised visitation with Leah until she gets herself under control.
    She thinks she is a diva, for some reason, and she also thinks she can treat Gary this way because she’s so much better than him. Ummmm, no she’s not. She gets in his face for yelling, but he doesn’t even yell at her.
    This is particularly upsetting to me because she is just like my ex-husband. An abusive maniac. Nothing is ever good enough and the slightest thing sets her off. “Want me to hit you?”
    And that baby is caught in the middle of it.
    She makes me sick.
    MTV had better be providing Gary and Leah with victims’ counseling. I’m not sure what the laws are in their state, but even if Gary refuses to press charges, the proof of Amber’s most recent assault is on camera. No denying it.
    No explanations. No excuses. It has to stop.
    I hope Gary has balls enough to stand up for himself and his daughter.

    • I dont understand how you mean,”stand up for himself” i hope you mean legally, its obvious he’s been raised another way. Men are built different than women if he were to hit her back he could hurt her on accident, no matter how banged out of shape he is.

      • I agree that we have to be careful about how we talk about Gary and his reaction to Amber’s abuse. It doesn’t do anyone any favors to perpetuate the notion that men are supposed to be strong/dominant or even violent. We have to be careful about saying things like “grow a pair” because that is chiding him for “not being man enough” – which is really taking the blame off of the abuser (Amber) and putting it on to him, the victim. This is the same thing that people do when they blame women for their own victimization by saying “Why doesn’t she leave him? Why does she let him treat her like that? Why doesn’t she stop being a doormat?” etc.

        Let’s not bring gender into this – as Amber and Gary’s story has taught us – abuse has no gender.

  8. thank you for posting this. I just wrote an email to viacom earlier today (couldn’t find an email on and I asked what MTV is doing to show that this is not okay!? I cited the Snooki incident because they chose not to show the punch and then aired a PSA. And I asked if MTV will do the same with Teen Mom? This is getting ridiculous and completely disturbing because this abuse does not take place at a club, it’s taking place at home and in front of a baby. I’m so disappointed in MTV for not condemning this.

  9. I am outraged at Amber’s violent behavior toward Gary. Amber needs help with her anger issues. I hope the MTV Team intervenes and mandates Amber into getting the help she needs.

  10. I agree, what gives…women get a wind of a slap or some verbal abuse and the man is hauled away. When the man is getting punched in the face all day he gets a look like”that’s the way it goes” just accept it wuss”what everyone should get a punch in the face for that everytime they dismiss this as abuse to remind them that all abuse is abuse, period!

  11. just saw the preview clip. Holy. Lord. There is NOOOO excuse for that, whatsoever. Being a mature (or at least semi-sane) person means if you are angry, and want someone to leave, you do NOT PUNCH them, just because they “made you mad”. Does not matter what they said to make you upset. Why is this girl NOT facing charges at this point ?? Gary, dude, seriously, grow a set, take the baby, go to the authorities,file charges. Ten gets you twenty CPS will get involved, see that slumhouse, and that child is being removed from her custody. You think that Amber’s violence is not going to escalate to her small child, who she already neglects and screams at for being…..uh, a baby ?!?! She is the type of chick that we see being convicted because she was “so mad,upset, etc” one day,that she hurt or killed her child.

    Mmmkay, off my soapbox for the moment. Who all is up for a telethon to the Child Protective Services in this wackadoo’s town ??? Show of hands ???

  12. someone please help this guy… thats is not fair that he is treated like that… i hope that the world of man hits girls is taking a real good look at what is happening here… this women is acting abusive and society is accepting it… thats not fare at all… and should be legally persued

  13. It is bull I hope Gary presses charges BECAUSE he is being abused that girl is mental and ill say like everyone else I wanna knock her on her ass one good time

  14. Unfortunatley, women believe it’s wrong for a man to hit a woman, but okay for a women to hit a man. I’ve been the victim of a punch to the face by multiple women 😦

  15. I think Amber forgot that her life was being filmed for the last however long….Does she not realize that when you physically, verbally abuse someone in front of a child on National television that CPS has an easy way of determining whether she is a fit mother…that just goes to show that teenagers need to stick to going to school and afterschool programs not sex cause obviously they are not mature enough to handle parenting. She is a mental case and just another Andrea Yates waiting to happen…..tick…tick….BOOM!!!!!!!

  16. A google search of “teen mom punch” led me here. I so very much agree that Amber should have her daughter taken from her; at the very least until she gets herself some help. I nearly cry for that baby each episode. I see the pictures of Carly; with a mom and dad who seem more mature and certainly made a very mature decision for their daughter. And then I see Amber.

    The ONLY reason I am glad MTV is airing Amber and Gary’s story is that I cannot fathom the thought of what that precious child would go through if cameras and camera crews were NOT around.

    I also truly believe that Amber has some sort of addiction going on. Mood swings, crazy laughing then 5 minutes later, laying around, clustered home, no crib sheet!!! ( when she put Leah in her crib tonight, crying, on JUST a mattress filled with crap and stuffed animals. Ugh!!).

    But, please, MTV and anyone else who can: Stop this trainwreck for the little one before the system fails her and something horrible happens. If adults want to act like fools, so be it. But a child did not ASK to be here. I can only imagine if Gary was out of her life … Thank GOD he cares for this baby!

  17. Pingback: Relationship Violence on Teen Mom | Not a Dirty Word

  18. I just saw the episode of Amber punching Gary and I felt so helpless for Gary and his daughter Leah. I wish I could do something to help them because this lunatic Amber just yells and curses all day calling Gary names and telling her baby to shut up. As if that’s not enough she puts her hands on Gary… I know its not right to say but I wish I was Garys sister because that crazy bitch would get some of what she gives. But on a legal note I would say DEFINITELY the Law NEEDS to look into what’s happening in that household and do what’s best for baby Leah. Amber you are going to learn the hard way you lazy abuser.

  19. Folks,
    Enough is enough. If MTV isn’t going to take action, we should. Truly, we should start a petition or something so that she does not get away with this behavior. It’s only a matter of time until she hits that little girl. I just signed up on facebook, but it’s just a petition to get her removed from the show. It’s more serious than that. We should start a petition for action to give the father custody. He seems, at least, to have a loving, supportive mother.

  20. I applaud Gary, because as a guy myself, I would have had to knock Amber the f* out! There is a thing called self defense, he should exercise his right to it.

    Amber has mental issues. I hope she loses custody of the kid and gets some sort of punishment for her actions. Gary needs to wash his hands of Amber, I don’t understand why he keeps coming back for more.

    MTV only cares about ratings and the bottom line. They’ll continue airing this crap because people watch. They have no moral backbone whatsoever. Reminds me when that black guy did a little sissy slap to the girl with lyme disease because she ran her mouth all the time and he was booted from the show for it (Real World). And for all their talk about a zero-tolerance violence policy, how many woman to man, and woman to woman (Jersey Shore) fights have you see on their shows and how many of those women have been kicked off? Exactly. Double standard at play.

  21. amber isn’t crazy, she’s PISSED OFF. if i were her, and i was letting some guy live in my house for FREE out of the kindness of my heart, when she already hates him, and he said i wasn’t going to see my child again… i would be on him 10x worse than amber was. plus, he does some pretty stupid and immature stuff. and i hate stupidity and immaturity. biggest pet peeves, EVER. maybe she shouldn’t of punched him, but he didn’t even bring leah back to the apartment? that would NOT fly with me. so, just saying. amber is much better of a mom than people are thinking. put yourself in her shoes and you’ll see why she’s stressed out.

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