Gossip Girl producers and writers scrambled to defend themselves against accusations that they’d gone too far when a drunken Chuck (Ed Westwick) shoved and threatened Blair (Leighton Meester) in last week’s episode. Fans may or may not buy their reasoning that the scene didn’t rise to the level of domestic violence, but one veteran TV star and child advocate says the whole issue is besides the point.

Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW © 2011 The CW Network, LLC. Photo: Serena and Chuck in Season 4, Episode 20: "The Princesses and the Frog"

After years spent playing ultra-brat Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, Alison Arngrim went on to become a founding board member and spokesperson for Protect.org, a national pro-child, anti-crime membership association — and a NY Times best-selling author with her memoir, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch. So Wetpaint asked Arngrim to view the episode in question and tell us what she thinks. Her verdict? Cynical PR stunt.

“Truly, they — and other shows — really do ‘setups’ like this, where something horrible and offensive ‘happens,’ people denounce them, threaten boycotts, etc.,” Arngrim told us via email. “They issue heated denials... and then...after MASSIVE news coverage on every channel! — they suddenly ‘see the light’! And a fabulous episode appears, complete with PSAs by the cast.”

Arngrim added, “They're probably taping them right now.”

Did Gossip Girl go too far? Weigh in here!

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