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Decisions
Preston and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-011 (11 August 2021)
2021-011

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive

The Authority has upheld a complaint about the classification and scheduling of an episode of SAS Australia which was classified ‘M’ and screened at 7.30pm. The episode featured aggression, potentially distressing psychological elements and frequent coarse language (more than 35 instances or variations of ‘fuck’). The Authority found this content warranted a higher classification of ‘16’ rather than ‘M’, a stronger warning for frequent language and a later time of broadcast outside of children’s normally accepted viewing times (after 8.30pm). It therefore upheld the complaint under the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards, as viewers were not given sufficient reliable information to make an informed viewing choice or exercise discretion.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

Not Upheld: Violence

No order

Decisions
Hessell and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-051 (21 December 2020)
2020-051

The Authority has upheld a complaint that an episode of 20/20 aired on free-to-air television on a Sunday at 9am, detailing serial killer Ted Bundy’s crimes, motivations, and background, breached the children’s interests and programme information standards. The Authority noted that the broadcast presented in detail some potentially distressing and disturbing content, and themes including sexual violence and perversion, murder, and abduction, without any audience advisory or warning for this content. Additionally, the Authority considered the content and themes were suited for broadcast during the M timeband (suitable for a mature audience), rather than during PG time (which indicated the content was not necessarily unsuitable for child viewers under adult supervision). Viewers were not given sufficient information or signposting about the programme’s likely content to enable them to make informed choices about whether they, or children in their care, should view the broadcast. The Authority therefore found that the potential harm arising from the broadcast, particularly in relation to child viewers, outweighed the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression on this occasion.

Upheld: Children’s Interests, Programme Information.

Orders: Section 16(4) – $750 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Campbell and Radio New Zealand Ltd -2019-077 (18 February 2020)
2019-077

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive.

The Authority upheld a complaint that the use of the word ‘fuck’ in an episode of the programme Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. While the Authority recognised the value and nature of the programme, it was not preceded by any offensive language warning which the Authority considered necessary as the language used was outside audience expectations for the programme, and the programme was aired at 7:30pm, at a time when children may be listening.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

No Order

Decisions
Burton and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-026 (23 August 2019)
2019-026

 The Authority has upheld a complaint that a promo for The Shallows shown during Finding Dory breached the children’s interests standard. The Authority found that the promo, which featured sinister and scary shark related content, was inappropriate for a child audience which would likely have been disturbed or alarmed by it. The Authority noted the importance of scheduling and editing promos for AO programmes appropriately, taking into account the classification of the host programme, and also the time of broadcast, target and likely audience of the host programme, and audience expectations. In considering the contextual factors, the Authority also found that the promo did not meet the G classification of the host programme. The Authority made no orders, and determined that the publication of the decision was sufficient to publicly notify and remedy the breach and would provide appropriate guidance to the broadcaster and to broadcasters generally.

Upheld: Children’s Interests. No order.

Decisions
Evans and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-092 (24 April 2019)
2018-092

The Authority has upheld a complaint about a broadcast of The DailyMail TV, finding that footage broadcast during the programme was inappropriate for the PGR classification and time of broadcast, and required an audience advisory for disturbing content. The programme was broadcast at 3.30pm on a weekday, and featured partially censored footage of an American stabbing victim in the moments before she died. While the woman’s injuries were blurred, her distressed facial expression and blood splatters on the floor were visible. A second story featured censored footage of two 19-year-old women who claimed they had been drugged, filmed inside a bar naked and allegedly performing sex acts. The Authority found that this content went beyond what could be expected from a PGR-classified programme broadcast during children’s normally accepted viewing times and that the programme should have been classified AO – Adults Only. Further, the sexual material and disturbing nature of these stories required an audience advisory.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

Order: Section 16(4) – $1,000 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Lewis and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-069 (16 November 2017)
2017-069

An item on Newshub reported on the shooting of two Israeli police officers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. The segment featured footage of officers being chased and shot at, followed by footage of a man being surrounded and shot at, a blurred shot of a dead body on the ground and a body bag on a stretcher. The Authority upheld a complaint that the item breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority recognised the public interest in the item and that it reported on important and newsworthy events. However, the Authority considered the item should have been preceded by a warning for the potentially disturbing violent content, to enable viewers to make an informed viewing decision, and allow an opportunity to exercise discretion.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

Not Upheld: Law and Order

No Order

Decisions
Sanders and Apna Networks Ltd - 2017-017 (9 August 2017)
2017-017

Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (Say… You’re in Love), a Bollywood romantic thriller film, was broadcast on free-to-air television channel APNA TV between 3pm and 6pm. The film featured action scenes containing violence. The Authority upheld a complaint that the film breached a number of broadcasting standards. The film was broadcast unclassified and with an incorrect programme description, which meant audiences were unable to make an informed viewing choice and were unable to regulate their own, and their children’s, viewing behaviour. The film’s inclusion of violent imagery such as beatings, shoot-outs, murder and dead bodies, and the visual depiction of these acts occurring onscreen, warranted an AO classification and later time of broadcast on free-to-air television. The film’s content would have been outside audience expectations of the programme, and child viewers, who were likely to be watching at the time of broadcast, were unable to be protected from material that had the potential to adversely affect them. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the law and order standard.

Upheld: Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Violence; Not Upheld: Law and Order

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement; section 16(4) costs to the Crown $1,500

Decisions
Cochran and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2017-032 (24 July 2017)
2017-032

An item on Checkpoint reported on the final stages of a court case in Auckland, known as the ‘Dome Valley’ kidnapping, in which a young woman was kidnapped, beaten, sexually violated and left to die by a group of her former friends. The reporter outlined the events of the kidnapping and the item featured segments of the victim giving evidence (with her voice disguised) via audio-visual link from another room in the closed court. The reporter and the victim outlined her assault and injuries in some detail. No audience advisory was broadcast. The Authority found that, while this item had high value in terms of the right to freedom of expression, and was in the public interest, a brief audience advisory should have been broadcast to enable listeners to decide if they wished to listen to the detailed, violent content included in the item. While the Authority supported the broadcast of an item that gave voice to the victim, the segment contained descriptions and details that were disturbing in nature and potentially upsetting for listeners, particularly those who had suffered similarly and any children who may have been listening. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the law and order standard. 

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

Not Upheld: Law and Order

No Order

Decisions
Johns and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-049 (20 September 2016)
2016-049

An episode of the British cartoon, Grizzly Tales, which was classified G (General), featured a young girl called Victoria Spew who threw tantrums until she vomited to get her way. At the end of the episode, Victoria was sucked into the vacuum cleaner her mother had bought to clean up after her. The cartoon showed Victoria’s teeth being pulled from her gums, and organs and body parts falling into the bag. The episode ended with Victoria’s body parts trapped in the vacuum cleaner. The Authority upheld a complaint that this episode of Grizzly Tales was unsuitable for young children. The programme was classified G and so was required to be suitable for all children under the age of 14. While this episode may have appealed to older children, the Authority did not consider it was appropriate for preschool children, who were likely to be watching unsupervised early in the morning. The Authority did not make an order.

Upheld: Children’s Interests, Violence, Good Taste and Decency

No Order 

Decisions
Cripps and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-043
2015-043

A promo for NCIS and NCIS: LA showed scenes of guns being fired, photos of a dead body and someone getting punched in the face, among other things. The Authority upheld a complaint that the broadcast did not adequately consider children’s interests. The content was not suitable for unsupervised child viewers, so the promo should have received a higher classification than G (for general audiences). On this basis the Authority found that the promo also breached the violence standard, as the broadcaster did not exercise adequate care and discretion when dealing with violent content.

Upheld: Children’s Interests, Violence

Order: Section 16(4) – $500 costs to the Crown

Decisions
McCaw and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2015-011
2015-011

The music video for Nicki Minaj’s song ‘Only’ was broadcast on MTV at 6.50pm, in a segment classified MC. The Authority upheld the complaint that the numerous expletives and sexual references in the video were distasteful and unsuitable for uncensored broadcast at a time when younger viewers were watching. The video was incorrectly classified MC when it should have been 16LC and the explicit adult content exceeded audience expectations of the MC classification. The incorrect classification also meant that filtering technology would not have been as effective in preventing children from viewing the video as it should have been.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children

Order: Section 16(4) – $1,500 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Black and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-037
2015-037

A promo for the movie No Strings Attached screened during The X Factor NZ which was rated G. The Authority upheld the complaint that explicit sexual references contained in the promo went beyond the boundaries of the G classification and consequently the broadcaster did not adequately consider the interests of younger viewers who were likely to be watching.

Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

No Order 

Decisions
Henderson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-156
2014-156

A promo for The Night Shift briefly showing a male and female passionately kissing screened during Shrek Forever After, which was classified G. The Authority upheld the complaint that the promo breached the responsible programming and children’s interests standards, as the promo contained sexual material more properly falling within the PGR classification. The Authority did not make any order.

Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

No Order

Decisions
Warwick and TVWorks Ltd - 2013-089
2013-089

An item on 3 News which reported on a shooting massacre in a Kenyan Mall included footage of a man trying to hide, and then being shot at point blank range. The newsreader warned that the story contained ‘disturbing images’. The Authority upheld the complaint that this warning was inadequate to prepare viewers for witnessing a horrific execution. While recognising the very high public interest in the story and in the footage, viewers were not given a reasonable opportunity to exercise discretion or make a different viewing choice. The Authority did not make any order, as the decision provides sufficient guidance to broadcasters.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

No Order

Decisions
Stroud and TVWorks Ltd - 2013-044
2013-044

An episode of Futurama, an animated cartoon series, contained sexual references and innuendo. The episode which was classified G (General) screened on FOUR at 6.30pm. The Authority considered that the sexual content was not suitable for unsupervised child viewers and that the episode was incorrectly classified G when it should have been classified PGR. The broadcaster did not adequately consider children’s interests when incorrectly classifying the episode and screening it in G time

Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

No Order

Decisions
Wong and World TV Ltd - 2012-031
2012-031

Ip Man, a well-regarded movie about a martial arts legend, based on historical events, was broadcast in various timeslots during children’s viewing times. The broadcaster accepted that the movie was incorrectly classified ‘M’ when it should have been AO, and that it should have been broadcast in the AO time-band, not during children’s viewing times, but it nevertheless declined to uphold the complaint. The Authority upheld the complaint that the inappropriate classification and timeslots meant that the broadcast breached standards relating to responsible programming, children’s interests and violence. The Authority did not, however, uphold the complaint that it breached the good taste and decency, controversial issues, and discrimination and denigration standards: viewers would not have been surprised or offended by the content in the context of a martial arts movie; the movie was not a news, current affairs or factual programme so the controversial issues standard did not apply; the discrimination and denigration standard was not intended to prevent the broadcast of legitimate drama, and the movie did not encourage the denigration of, or discrimination against, a section of the community. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests, Violence
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Controversial Issues, Discrimination and Denigration

No Order

Decisions
Riwai-Couch and TVWorks Ltd - 2012-014
2012-014

An episode of Underbelly: Razor broadcast at 8.30pm included a sex scene in which a woman was on top of a man in bed; her breasts were briefly visible, and she could be heard moaning. The episode was preceded by a visual and verbal warning. The Authority upheld the complaint that the scene breached the children’s interests standard: the scene amounted to “strong adult material” broadcast close to the Adults Only watershed. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Children’s Interests

No Order

Decisions
O'Neill and TVWorks Ltd - 2011-127
2011-127

C4 broadcast a programme called LMFAO Video Hits at 7pm, which included the music video for LMFAO’s song “Shots”. A complaint was made that the video contained coarse and sexually explicit language and liquor promotion. Given the dominance of liquor promotion in the video and the sexual messages conveyed, and the screening of the video during children’s viewing times, the Authority upheld the complaints about liquor promotion and children’s interests. (The issues of good taste and decency and responsible programming were subsumed into consideration of liquor and children’s interests.) The Authority declined to uphold the complaint about discrimination and denigration: while the song did refer to women, it did not carry the invective necessary to encourage denigration of women as a section of the community. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Children’s Interests, Liquor
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration
Subsumed: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming

No Order

Decisions
Binks and 20 Others and TVWorks Ltd - 2010-141
2010-141

In the first 10 minutes of an episode of Outrageous Fortune, broadcast at 8.30pm, the characters used frequent coarse and obscene language. The Authority upheld that this breached standards of good taste and decency, responsible programming, and children’s interests: the frequent coarse language before 8.40pm was unacceptable in context, despite the AO classification and the expectations of regular viewers; obscenities in the first 10 minutes of the programme constituted strong adult material broadcast too close to the 8.30pm watershed; and the material warranted an AO 9.30pm classification and later time of broadcast. The Authority held that the action taken by the broadcaster in relation to one aspect of the good taste and decency and children’s interests complaints was sufficient (upholding the complaints and apologising to the complainants). The Authority ordered the broadcast of a statement, plus $3,000 costs to the Crown.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken), Children’s Interests (Action Taken)

Orders: broadcast of statement, $3,000 costs to Crown

Decisions
Freeman and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-001
2011-001

Sunday. Interview with policeman who said an offensive word twice when recalling his involvement in Aramoana massacre. Upheld by majority (good taste and decency, children’s interests). Not upheld (law and order, responsible programming). No order.

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