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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
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
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
Christian Heritage Party and Gibson and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-023, 1996-024
1996-023–024

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996-023 Decision No: 1996-024 Dated the 29th day of February 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of complaints by CHRISTIAN HERITAGE PARTY and MICHAEL GIBSON of Wellington Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

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
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
Buxton and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2009-017
2009-017

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – episode contained violent scenes – female character struck gang leader on the head with a hammer – later kicked him repeatedly as he was tied up on the ground – allegedly in breach of violence and programme classification standards Findings Standard 7 (programme classification) – violence was graphic and realistic – deserved higher classification – upheld Standard 10 (violence) – violence went beyond PGR classification – warning inadequate – broadcaster did not exercise sufficient care – upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An episode of Shortland Street was broadcast on TV2 at 7pm on Tuesday 20 January 2009. It began with a brief recap of violence that had taken place in the previous episode, continuing a long-running storyline concerning gang crime....

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
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
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
Buckingham and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2002-185
2002-185

ComplaintShortland Street – episodes about a child of drug dealer in coma having taken a capsule of cannabis oil – drug dealer said she gave child small amounts of cannabis oil to calm him as he was ADHD – offensive – encouraged illegal behaviour – inaccurate – unbalanced FindingsStandard 1 and Guideline 1a and Standard 2 – use of cannabis oil to treat ADHD child shown as unacceptable and irresponsible – no uphold Standards 4 and 5 – do not apply to fictional programmes – no uphold This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] The treatment of a child "Max", who had taken a capsule of cannabis oil was a story line in an episode of Shortland Street broadcast on TV2 at 7. 00pm on 17 July 2002....

Decisions
Bruce-Phillips and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-092 (9 December 2020)
2020-092

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about the use of ‘Jesus’ as an exclamation in an episode of Shortland Street. The complaint was the use of ‘Jesus’ in this way disrespected New Zealanders who use that name only in prayer. The Authority acknowledged the complainant, and others in the community, find the language used offensive. However, as it has previously determined, the use of variations of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ as exclamations did not threaten community standards of good taste and decency. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency  ...

Decisions
Mather and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-088 (5 October 2022)
2022-088

The Authority has declined to determine three complaints about different programmes broadcast on TVNZ channels on 4 July 2022 as the concerns related to the complainant’s personal preferences on what should be broadcast, and other issues raised have recently been dealt with and did not warrant further determination. Decline to determine (section 11(b) in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined): Offensive & Disturbing Content; Discrimination & Denigration...

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