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Murray and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-041

Members

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga
  • Paula Rose

Complainant

  • Dean Murray

Dated

23rd September 2015

Number

2015-041

Programme

Posh Nosh

Channel/Station

TV2

Broadcaster

Television New Zealand Ltd

Summary

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

A presenter on the satirical cooking programme Posh Nosh, broadcast on ANZAC Day, described the presentation of food on a plate as 'dreadful, stacked up like dead soldiers in a trench'. The presenter also described the placement of a lemon on a fish as looking like 'I've got a yellow hat up my bottom'. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that these comments were offensive and inappropriate. The programme was unrelated to ANZAC Day and the comments would not have offended most reasonable viewers in context.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency


Introduction

[1]  A presenter on the satirical cooking programme Posh Nosh, broadcast on ANZAC Day, described the presentation of food on a plate as 'dreadful, stacked up like dead soldiers in a trench'. The presenter also described the placement of a lemon on a fish as looking like 'I've got a yellow hat up my bottom'.

[2]  Dean Murray complained that the 'dead soldiers' comment was offensive, especially broadcast on ANZAC Day, and the 'bottom' comment was inappropriate for his five-year-old child to hear.

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

[4]  The programme was broadcast on 25 April 2015 at 1.45pm on TV2. 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 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]  Mr Murray complained that, although the 'dead soldiers' comment may have been intended to be satirical, it was inappropriate on ANZAC Day. He felt that a significant number of viewers would have been offended or distressed by hearing the comment on 'a day of remembrance of the fallen'. Regarding the 'yellow hat up my bottom' comment, he argued that while this may be appropriate for older viewers, no young child should be told about 'hats up bottoms'. Mr Murray felt that any parent of a five-year-old would be offended that such comments were broadcast in the early afternoon.

[7]  TVNZ argued that the following contextual factors meant that the programme would not have gone beyond audience expectations and did not breach standards of good taste and decency:

  •  the programme was classified G (General);
  •  it was aimed at older viewers;
  •  it was a satirical programme poking fun at food snobbery and was intended to be humorous rather than offensive; and
  •  the comments were about presentation of salad on a plate and a lemon placed on a piece of fish.

[8]  Posh Nosh is described as 'a post-modern comedy series that spoofs the world of upper-class food'.3 The comments were descriptions of food presentation made during a satirical cooking show and were clearly intended to be humorous. While it was perhaps unfortunate that a comment about 'dead soldiers' appeared in a programme broadcast on ANZAC Day, which may have some upset some viewers, the item did not otherwise have any connection to ANZAC Day and was a British programme. Its screening on that day was coincidental; TV2 did not broadcast any commemorative ANZAC programming on the day of 25 April. We are satisfied that the comment about how a salad was presented did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency.

[9]  Nor do we consider that the comment about a fish having a 'yellow hat' up its 'bottom' constituted coarse language that would warrant anything higher than a G rating. Posh Nosh was not targeted at child viewers and was not likely to appeal to children. We agree with TVNZ that, taking into account the contextual factors listed at paragraph [7] above, most viewers would have taken the comments as humorous and poking fun at 'food snobbery' and would not have been offended.

[10]  Accordingly we decline to uphold the Standard 1 complaint.

 

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

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

 

Peter Radich

Chair

23 September 2015

 

 

Appendix

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

1      Dean Murray's formal complaint – 25 April 2015

2      TVNZ's response to the complaint – 26 May 2015

3      Mr Murray's referral to the Authority – 15 June 2015

4      TVNZ's response to the Authority – 24 July 2015

 


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

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

3 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0352091/