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Chaney and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-131

Members

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

Complainant

  • Louise Chaney of Nelson

Dated

5th February 2015

Number

2014-131

Programme

The Chase

Channel/Station

TV One

Broadcaster

Television New Zealand Ltd

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision.]

The host of the trivia show The Chase made an off-the-cuff remark about Bing Crosby's death. The Authority declined to uphold the complaint that the comment breached standards of good taste and decency, finding that it was a light-hearted joke that was relatively innocuous and would not have offended most viewers.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency


Introduction

[1]  During The Chase, a British quiz show, a contestant was asked the trivia question 'Where did the singer and actor Bing Crosby die in 1977?' The contestant correctly answered, 'On a golf course'. The host commented, 'He actually died of a heart attack on the second hole, and it was the longest round of golf ever after that because they had to drag Bing to the next one, tee off, drag Bing, you know'.

[2]  Louise Chaney complained that the host's comment was 'disrespectful to the dead' and 'unacceptable' for broadcast.

[3]  The issue is whether the broadcast breached the good taste and decency standard, as set out in the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

[4]  The programme was broadcast on TV ONE on 29 August 2014. The members of the Authority have viewed a recording of the broadcast and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Did the broadcast threaten current norms of good taste and decency?

[5]  The good taste and decency standard (Standard 1) is primarily aimed at broadcasts containing sexual material, nudity, coarse language or violence.1 The Authority will also consider the standard in relation to any broadcast that portrays or discusses material in a way that is likely to cause offence or distress.2

[6]  The host's comment about singer and actor Bing Crosby who died 37 years ago was a relatively innocuous, light-hearted joke. The comment would not have offended most viewers in context, and did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency. We therefore decline to uphold the complaint.

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

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

 

Peter Radich
Chair
5 February 2015


Appendix

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

1      Louise Chaney's formal complaint – 8 September 2014
2      TVNZ's response to the complaint – 7 October 2014
3      Ms Chaney's referral to the Authority – 20 October 2014
4      TVNZ's response to the Authority – 3 December 2014

 

 


1 Turner and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2008-112 

2  Practice Note: Good Taste and Decency (Broadcasting Standards Authority, November 2006)