BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Waugh and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1994-097

Members
  • I W Gallaway (Chair)
  • W J Fraser
  • L M Loates
  • J R Morris
Dated
Complainant
  • Patricia R Waugh
Number
1994-097
Channel/Station
TV2
Standards Breached


Summary

An episode of the series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was screened on Channel

Two on 19 July 1994 at 4.30pm.

Mrs Waugh complained to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, that the

programme contained so much violence it was impossible to count the number of

violent incidents. She reported observing the effects on her three year old grandson's

behaviour when he jumped in the air and gave his brother a kung fu kick. She also

expressed concern that the consequences of violence were so unrealistic.

In its response, TVNZ suggested that the programme offered positive role models and

demonstrated values which it believed were of value to children, such as self-esteem,

courage, responsibility, teamwork and respect for individual differences. Further, it

suggested that the series inspired creative play which sparked the imagination of

children and encouraged their natural exuberance and energy. It declined to uphold the

complaint. Dissatisfied with that decision, Mrs Waugh referred the complaint to the

Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.


For the reasons given below the Authority upheld the complaint that the programme

breached standards G12, V1 and V10 of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice


Decision

The members have viewed some episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and have

read the correspondence relating to this complaint (summarised in the Appendix). As

is its practice, it has determined the complaint without a formal hearing.

The Authority records that it released a decision about the series Mighty Morphin

Power Rangers on 19 September 1994 (Decision Nos: 81/94–84/94) and that its

decision to uphold the complaints about the series had been widely publicised prior to

that. It notes that this complaint was referred to the Authority too late to be included

in that decision.

Accordingly, the Authority has upheld this complaint that standards G12, V1 and

V10 of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice were breached by the broadcast

of this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for the reasons given in Decision

Nos: 81/94–84/94.

 

For the reasons given in Decision Nos: 81/94–84/94, the Authority upholds the

complaint that standards G12, V1 and V10 of the Television Code of

Broadcasting Practice were breached by the broadcast by Television New

Zealand Ltd of the episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers screened on 19

July 1994.


Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Iain Gallaway
Chairperson
6 October 1994


Appendix

Mrs Waugh's Complaint to Television New Zealand Ltd - 25 July 1994

Mrs Patricia R Waugh of Hamilton made a formal complaint to Television New

Zealand Ltd about the episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers which was screened

on 19 July 1994. She wrote that there were so many violent episodes in that one

programme they were impossible to count. She suggested that the programme was in

breach of the standards of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice which deal

with to the protection of children and the portrayal of violence.

Mrs Waugh added that she watched the programme because her 3 year old grandson

had been watching and immediately did a 180 degree jump in the air, landed next to his

brother and gave him a kung fu kick to his chest. She noted that he had never done

anything like this before.

Concern was also expressed about the programme's portrayal of the consequences of

violence and the implication that they never caused any damage. Mrs Waugh

suggested that there may be a relationship between that and teenagers committing

horrendous crimes.

TVNZ's Response to the Formal Complaint - 27 July 1994

TVNZ Ôs response was identical to the responses made to other complainants about

the series. The response is summarised in Appendix I of Decision Nos: 81/94 - 84/94

(attached).

Mrs Waugh's Referral to the Authority - 20 August 1994

Dissatisfied with TVNZ's response, Mrs Waugh referred the complaint to the

Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

While noting that TVNZ had commented on most of the points made in her letter, she

observed that the response had not dealt with the unrealistic outcomes of the violence.

She referred to two recent cases where serious crimes were committed by young

people and she asked whether it was possible that the perpetrators thought their

victims would get up and walk away.

In a further letter dated 5 September, Mrs Waugh referred to the fact that the

complaints about the programme had been upheld and the series had been

discontinued. She wondered if it was necessary to proceed with her complaint.

TVNZ's Response to the Authority - 14 September 1994

Noting that the Authority had already made its decision on the series, TVNZ observed

that there was little purpose in it offering further comment.

Mrs Waugh's Final Comment to the Authority - 27 September 1994

When asked to make a brief final comment, Mrs Waugh repeated that her main point

was that the violence was very unrealistic, because the consequences of that violence

were non-existent. She suggested that children would therefore gain the impression

that it was possible to inflict terrible destruction without causing injury.