The song ‘Anaconda’ by Nicki Minaj was broadcast on Humm FM 106.2, a Hindi radio station, at 3.30pm on a weekday. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast of the song, which contained swearing and sexually explicit language, at this time of day, on this station, would be unexpected and offensive to most listeners.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming
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
A song titled ‘I’m Not Real’ was broadcast on Base Breakfast at about 9.25am, and contained the lyrics ‘bitches’, ‘ass’, ‘hoes’ and variants of ‘fuck’. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast of these expletives in this timeslot breached standards of good taste and decency. The Authority did not make any order, noting that the broadcaster had acknowledged the broadcast was unacceptable, and that the decision would provide sufficient guidance going forward.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
An episode of Shameless, a comedy-drama series centred on British underclass and working class culture, broadcast on UKTV at 11.45am, contained sex scenes, swearing and violence. The broadcaster had upheld the complaint under the content classification, warning and filtering standard, and the Authority considered the action taken under that standard sufficient. However, the Authority upheld the complaint that the episode also breached the good taste and decency standard: the incorrect classification and inadequate warning label meant that viewers were not sufficiently informed of the programme’s likely content and were therefore denied the opportunity to make a different viewing choice and were more likely to be offended. The Authority did not find a breach of the children’s interests standard: the broadcaster sufficiently protected child viewers from unsuitable content by classifying the programme as 16. The Authority made no order.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
Not Upheld (Action Taken): Content Classification, Warning and Filtering
Not Upheld: Children’s Interests
A book reading of Eggs, written by New Zealand author Maxine Alterio, was broadcast on Radio New Zealand National on Good Friday morning at 6.50am. The story was told from the perspective of an “at risk youth” who attended a Polytechnic course where she and her classmates looked after eggs in order to learn parenting skills. The story contained mature themes including references to drug taking and sex, as well as some coarse language. The Authority did not uphold complaints that the book reading breached the good taste and decency standard: it was an artistic work and the language and themes were acceptable in the context, and upholding the complaints would unjustifiably limit free speech.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
During live talkback on the election “tea tapes” story, Radio Live host Michael Laws commented that “the media have gone mad, rabid. If I had a gun I’d shoot them, put them out of their misery, because they have gone rabid and they may infect others.” He went on to specifically mention the Herald on Sunday and questioned why someone hadn’t taken a shotgun and “cleaned out the entire news room”. A majority of the Authority upheld the complaint that these comments breached the good taste and decency standard: the combination of the length of the statement, its repeated use of graphic imagery, its specificity in relation to identified journalists and its mode of delivery made the statement unacceptable. Notwithstanding the importance of freedom of expression, Mr Laws’ comments went too far. The Authority made no order. In a minority decision, one member argued that the broadcast did not breach the good taste and decency standard because of the context of talkback radio and Mr Laws’ style, and the use of an accepted and well understood colloquialism. The Authority unanimously did not uphold the complaint that the words breached the law and order standard.
Upheld (Majority): Good Taste and Decency
Not Upheld: Law and Order
Prelude to a DMX song entitled Gotta Go (Skit ) contained extensive coarse language. Upheld (good taste and decency). No order.
Criminal Minds. Storyline involved Alzheimer’s sufferer who was capturing, torturing and killing young women. Upheld (responsible programming, violence and good taste and decency). Not upheld (children’s interests). No order.
The storyline of an episode of Criminal Minds broadcast at 8.30pm involved a man with extensive burn injuries seeking revenge by burning his victims alive. The scenes showed the victims being splashed with petrol and set on fire. The Authority upheld the complaint that the episode breached standards relating to good taste and decency, responsible programming, and violence: the level of violence in an 8.30pm broadcast was unacceptable, despite the episode’s AO classification; the violence was explicit; and the programme was incorrectly classified, as the high degree of explicit violence and disturbing adult themes warranted an AO 9.30pm classification and later time of broadcast. The Authority made no order.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Violence
Listeners’ Choice Countdown. Song containing offensive language broadcast at 9.30am. Upheld (good taste and decency). Subsumed (responsible programming). No order.
Breakfast. Presenter deliberately mispronounced the name of the Chief Minister of Delhi. Upheld (good taste and decency, fairness and discrimination and denigration): action taken. Not upheld (responsible programming). Orders (broadcast statement, $3,000 costs to Crown).
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
Hunting Aotearoa. Hunter used potentially objectionable language. Upheld (good taste and decency). No order.
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.
Close Up. Interview with female porn star included footage of her wearing lingerie and clips from her pornographic movies. Upheld (good taste and decency and children’s interests): action taken. Orders (broadcast statement, $3,000 costs to Crown).
Ski FM. Comment about sucking diarrhoea from someone’s bottom with a straw. Upheld (good taste and decency). Order ($500 costs to Crown).
3 News. Item about Outrageous Fortune contained sex scenes. Upheld (good taste and decency, children's interests). Not upheld (responsible programming). Orders (broadcast statement, $4,000 costs to Crown).
The Edge Morning Madhouse. Host performed song lyrics including “when they make love do they have to put a strap on it” and “wanted to go rug munching” at 8.20am. Upheld (good taste and decency): action taken. Order ($2,000 costs to Crown).
Hung. Prolonged oral sex scene and display of female genital nudity. Upheld: majority (good taste and decency). No order.
Home and Away. Scene in G time-band involving couple kissing and beginning to undress, then woman straddling man. Upheld (children’s interests, responsible programming, good taste and decency). No order.