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Hindson and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2013-049

Members

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga

Complainant

  • Katherine Hindson of Auckland

Dated

1st October 2013

Number

2013-049

Programme

Go Girls promo

Channel/Station

TV One

Broadcaster

Television New Zealand Ltd


Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
Promo for Go Girls – included brief shot of two men kissing – allegedly in breach of children’s interests and controversial issues standards

Findings
Standard 9 (children’s interests) – kiss was brief and innocuous – broadcaster adequately considered children’s interests – not upheld

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


Introduction

[1]  A promo for the comedy-drama series Go Girls included a brief shot of two men kissing. The promo screened during the host programme Masterchef: The Professionals – Australia which was classified G (General), and was broadcast at about 5.15pm on 4 June 2013 on TV One.

[2]  Katherine Hindson made a formal complaint to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging the footage of two men kissing was inappropriate to screen during children’s viewing times.

[3]  Ms Hindson raised the controversial issues and children’s interests standards. The controversial issues standard applies only to news, current affairs and factual programmes. As the promo for Go Girls clearly does not fall within any of these categories, we dismiss this aspect of her complaint. 

[4]  The issue therefore is whether the promo breached the children’s interests standard, as set out in the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

[5]  The members of the Authority have viewed a recording of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Did the broadcaster adequately consider children’s interests?

[6]  The children’s interests standard (Standard 9) requires broadcasters to consider the interests of child viewers during their normally accepted viewing times – usually up to 8.30pm. The purpose of the standard is to protect children from broadcasts which might adversely affect them.1

[7]  Ms Hindson said the footage was likely to confuse her young children because it exposed them to same-sex relationships, though she said she would be equally opposed to an “overtly sexual kiss” between a heterosexual couple.

[8]  TVNZ noted that the promo was classified G, and asserted that kissing was acceptable to show during G-rated programmes broadcast in children’s viewing times, irrespective of the characters’ gender.

[9]  The Authority has previously found that kissing is not necessarily prohibited in G time, provided its presentation is at a level that is acceptable for children.2  The footage subject to complaint consisted of an extremely brief, relatively innocuous kiss between two young men. It was not “overtly sexual” as alleged, and we are satisfied that it would not have disturbed or alarmed child viewers.

[10]  Accordingly, we find that the broadcaster adequately considered children’s interests when screening the promo during an episode of Masterchef at 5.15pm, and we decline to uphold the Standard 9 complaint.

 

For the above reasons the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Peter Radich
Chair
1 October 2013

Appendix

The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:

1           Katherine Hindson’s formal complaint – 4 June 2013

2          TVNZ’s response to the complaint – 28 June 2013

3          Ms Hindson’s referral to the Authority – 4 July 2013

4          TVNZ’s response to the Authority –  17 July 2013

5          Ms Hindson’s final comment – 25 July 2013

6          TVNZ’s confirmation of no final comment – 8 August 2013


1E.g. Harrison and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2008-066

2For example, Ibousi and TVWorks Ltd, Decision No. 2010-091