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Tuesday, 30 January, 2001, 09:58 GMT
Teenager burned in 'copycat' MTV stunt
Boston
The boy is in critical condition in a Boston hospital
A 13-year-old US boy's father is furious at MTV after his son copied a stunt shown on the network and ended up with second- the third-degree burns.

Jason Lind was severely injured when he and a friend poured petrol on his feet and legs and lit him, said a police spokesman in Boston.

They were imitating Johnny Knoxville, creator of high-ratings show Jackass, who donned a fire-resistant suit hung with steaks before lying on a lit grill squirted with lighter fluid.

Eric Lind, the father, told local TV station WFSB: "I don't want another parent to go through what I went through - when you see your son laying on an emergency room table with his skin falling off, and he's apologising to you."

MTV
MTV says it warns viewers not to copy the stunts
The fire grew out of control and burned the boy's legs and hands before it was extinguished, officials said after the incident on Friday.

Jason is in a critical condition in the burns unit of Shriner's Hospital for Children in Boston.

His 14-year-old friend - who is not being named by police - was arrested on Saturday and charged with reckless endangerment.

The MTV programme, which shows an array of pranks and stunts, was also criticised by Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore's running-mate in last year's presidential elections and a critic of media violence.

"MTV is an enormously influential force in the world our children inhabit, and with that power and the right to exercise it comes a certain level of responsibility," he said.

Disclaimers

"I intend to make clear to the network's owners that we expect more from them."

One of the teenagers said Jason volunteered to re-enact the stunt, which took place in one boy's back yard.

MTV spokeswoman Tina Exarhos said the show includes written and verbal disclaimers stating: "The following show features stunts performed by professionals and/or total idiots under very strict control."

The producers "insist that neither you or anyone else attempt to recreate or perform anything you have seen", the warning states.

Ms Exarhos said the warning is repeated by Knoxville.

Another teenager who looked during the incident on was not charged.

See also:

30 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Magician thaws after ice stunt
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
MTV discovers joy of text
17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Strike action threat at MTV
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