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Decisions
Mclean and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-046 (10 August 2018)
2018-046

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During an episode of Shortland Street, one of the characters, Harper, used the exclamation ‘Oh, Jesus…’ to express her shock and disgust at a flood of sewage in her new home. A promo for this episode, broadcast during the weather report on 1 News, also included Harper using this expression. The Authority received a complaint that this language was blasphemous and offensive, and in the case of the promo, inappropriate for broadcast during 1 News at 6pm when children might be watching. The Authority acknowledged that the complainant, and others in the community, might find this type of language offensive. However, the Authority has consistently found that these type of expressions are commonly used as exclamations in our society....

Decisions
Hall & Large and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-061 (10 October 2018)
2018-061

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Two complaints regarding an episode of Shortland Street were not upheld. In the episode a new character appointed CEO of the Shortland Street hospital commented, ‘Puffed up, privileged Pakeha men drunk on control, terrified of change… we are the future, Esther, not them,’ referring to the hospital’s management. Complaints were made that this statement was sexist, racist and offensive to white men. The Authority reviewed the programme and relevant contextual factors, including established expectations of Shortland Street as a long-running, fictional soap opera/drama, and concluded the character’s statement did not breach broadcasting standards. It found upholding the complaints in this context would unreasonably limit the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Good Taste and Decency, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness The broadcast[1] A Shortland Street episode featured a new CEO, Te Rongopai, starting at Shortland Street hospital....

Decisions
Buxton and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2009-016
2009-016

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – episode contained violent scenes – allegedly in breach of programme classification and violence standards Findings Standard 7 (programme classification) – programme contained disturbing adult themes and violence – unsuitable for children even when supervised by an adult – upheld Standard 10 (violence) – violence went beyond PGR classification – inadequate warning – broadcaster did not exercise sufficient care – upheld No Order This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] The first episode of Shortland Street for 2009 was broadcast on TV2 at 7pm on Monday 19 January. It began with a brief recap of the final episode from 2008, in which one of the characters, Ethan Pearce, was shot in his home. Ethan was shown covered in blood struggling to move out through his yard and onto a beach, where he died....

Decisions
Children's Media Watch and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1994-006
1994-006

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 6/94 Dated the 17th day of February 1994 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by CHILDREN'S MEDIA WATCH of Auckland Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED I. W. Gallaway Chairperson J. R. Morris R. A. Barraclough L. M. Dawson...

Decisions
Smith and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-145 (31 March 2021)
2020-145

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an episode of Shortland Street that included scenes of a man injecting another against his will, removing one of his organs, then drinking alcohol from a glass with a bloodied glove. In the context, including the programme’s nature, classification and intended audience, the Authority found the episode was unlikely to have caused widespread undue offence or distress, or undue harm to child viewers. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Aitchison and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1995-014
1995-014

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 14/95 Dated the 16th day of March 1995 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by MARY N AITCHISON of Timaru Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED I W Gallaway Chairperson J R Morris L M Loates W J Fraser...

Decisions
Stanton and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1998-097
1998-097

Summary An episode of Shortland Street, broadcast by Television New Zealand Limited, between 7. 00 and 7. 30pm on 15 May 1998, included a scene which depicted a male and a female character in bed together after sexual activity. Mr Stanton complained that as the scene portrayed an extra-marital sexual relationship, it should not have screened in peak family viewing time where it would have been watched by many younger viewers. He also claimed that Shortland Street in general contained too many storylines which involved extra-marital sexual relationships. TVNZ declined to uphold the complaint that the broadcast was offensive, unbalanced or inappropriate for its PGR timeslot. Dissatisfied with the broadcaster’s decision, Mr Stanton referred the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s. 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989. For the reasons below, the Authority declines to uphold the complaint....

Decisions
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and Bipolar/Manic Depression Society Inc and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2002-074, 2002-075
2002-074–075

ComplaintsShortland Street – character with bipolar disorder – portrayed as obsessive, delusional and violent – inaccurate – unfair – stereotyping FindingsStandard G1/Standard 5 – fiction – not applicable Standard G6/Standard 4 and Guideline 4a – fiction – not applicable Standard G13/Standard 6 and Guideline 6g – no discrimination – dramatic work – no uphold Standard G20/Standard 4 and Guideline 4b – fiction – not applicable Standard G21/ Standard 5 and Guideline 5a – fiction – not applicable This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] A storyline about a character with bipolar disorder ("Jack Hewitt") screened during episodes of Shortland Street broadcast on TV2 at 7. 00pm on weeknights from 3 December to 14 December 2001 and on 21 January 2002. During these episodes, "Jack" attempted to kill "Chris Warner", kidnapped "Rachel McKenna" and then committed suicide....

Decisions
Gillanders and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-058
1996-058

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996-058 Dated the 20th day of June 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by ANN GILLANDERS of Auckland Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Percy and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1999-118, 1999-119
1999-118–119

SummaryTwo consecutive episodes of Shortland Street contained a story-line about a nine-year-old boy, previously diagnosed with leukaemia, suffering a relapse and needing further medical treatment. His "mother" was shown receiving medical advice that his chances of survival with a bone marrow transplant were about one in ten. In the next episode, the child was shown bleeding profusely from mouth and nose, because his blood was not clotting properly. The episodes were broadcast on TV2 on 29 and 30 April 1999, commencing at 7. 00 pm. L D Percy complained to Television New Zealand Limited, the broadcaster, that the portrayals had a frightening impact on family and child viewers, particularly children who had returned to normal lives after receiving treatment for leukaemia. The depictions should only have been shown in an AO-rated programme, if at all, L D Percy wrote....

Decisions
Lobb and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-013 (26 April 2017)
2017-013

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An episode of Shortland Street featured a storyline about the developing relationship of a young same-sex couple, and included several scenes of the two kissing, including shots of them from the waist up in bed together. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that these scenes breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The Authority acknowledged there is value in programmes such as Shortland Street, which provides entertainment and reflects contemporary society and evolving social issues and attitudes. Shortland Street is a PGR-classified medical drama series that has screened in the 7pm timeband for many years. It is well known for featuring adult themes. In that context the level of sexual content did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency, nor would be likely to adversely affect any child viewers....

Decisions
Sarah and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-079 (27 November 2018)
2018-079

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During an episode of Shortland Street, characters Lincoln and Jack took Nicole out for drinks to take her mind off her attacker. Lincoln, who was previously in a relationship with a man, was shown taking an illegal drug which he gave to Nicole. Later in the episode, Lincoln and Nicole were shown in bed together. In the episode broadcast the following evening, Jack asked Lincoln about being gay and sleeping with Nicole. Lincoln replied that he did not have to ‘put a label on it’, saying, ‘I’m just me’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the programme’s portrayal of Lincoln’s sexuality, by a straight actor, could have damaging effects on young viewers or those struggling with their sexuality....

Decisions
Cross and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2008-059
2008-059

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – scene involved sexual encounter between two characters – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and children’s interests Findings Standard 9 (children’s interests) – sexual activity was unambiguous – inappropriate for broadcast during children’s normally accepted viewing times – broadcaster did not adequately consider the interests of child viewers – upheld Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – subsumed into consideration of Standard 9 No OrderThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An episode of Shortland Street, broadcast on TV2 at 7pm on Wednesday 30 April 2008, included a scene in which two male characters, Gerald and Lindsay, were involved in a sexual encounter. Gerald and Lindsay were shown undressing and kissing; Gerald was in his underwear and Lindsay was shirtless, but still wearing his trousers....

Decisions
Holding and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-019 (24 May 2018)
2018-019

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An episode of Shortland Street featured a character using the phrase (according to the accompanying closed captions), ‘You’ve got no freaking idea…’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this phrase breached the good taste and decency standard because in the complainant’s view, the character actually said ‘f***ing’. The Authority noted that if broadcasters wish to broadcast sanitised versions of unacceptable words, then it is their responsibility to make it clear that it is not the offensive word that is being uttered, but rather a word which is distinctly aurally different. Here, where there was some uncertainty about what was said, the Authority did not uphold the complaint....

Decisions
Barker and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1997-187
1997-187

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1997-187 Dated the 18th day of December 1997 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by GLENYSS A BARKER of Christchurch Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED S R Maling Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod J Withers...

Decisions
Gee and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1995-087
1995-087

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 87/95 Dated the 24th day of August 1995 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by LESLIE GEE of Christchurch Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod...

Decisions
Ngapo & Tolungamaka and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-099 (13 March 2019)
2018-099

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld two complaints about episodes of Shortland Street, which followed the ongoing storyline of a threesome between a married couple and their nanny. The Authority acknowledged that some viewers might find this storyline distasteful and that some scenes and references might have raised questions for children. However, the Authority found that various contextual factors, including audience expectations of the long-running television drama and a warning for sexual material, prepared audiences for the likely content and minimised the potential for undue harm. The sexual material and references contained in these episodes were relatively inexplicit, with no nudity or sexual activity beyond kissing shown. Finally, the fictional sexual activity took place between consenting adults and no illegal or seriously antisocial activity was portrayed during the programme....

Decisions
Brock and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-077 (28 January 2016)
2015-077

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An episode of Shortland Street showed the death of a 14-year-old character, Pixie. Pixie had apparently been undergoing chemotherapy and was hospitalised for pneumonia. At the end of the episode, Pixie’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she died. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item should have been preceded by a warning because children could have been disturbed and upset by the content. Shortland Street is rated PGR and frequently features adult themes. While the fictional depiction of a child’s death was potentially upsetting, it was not outside audience expectations and parents had an opportunity to exercise discretion. Not Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s InterestsIntroduction[1] An episode of Shortland Street showed the death of 14-year-old character Pixie. Pixie had apparently been undergoing chemotherapy and had contracted pneumonia....

Decisions
McBride and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-029
1996-029

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996 - 029 Dated the 21st day of March 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by MICHELLE MCBRIDE of Rotorua Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Denley and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2007-065
2007-065

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – contained a scene in which a character dreamed about a sexual encounter – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and children’s interests Findings Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Standard 9 (children’s interests) – programme was classified PGR – no nudity – broadcaster was mindful of child viewers – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During an episode of Shortland Street, broadcast at 7pm on 31 May 2007, a scene showed two of the main characters, Maia and Mark, involved in a sexual encounter. The scene contained head-and-shoulder shots of both characters apparently having sex. The scene ended eight seconds later with the character Maia waking up and realising that the sexual encounter with Mark was just a dream....

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