BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Harang and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1999-109

Members
  • S R Maling (Chair)
  • J Withers
  • R McLeod
  • L M Loates
Dated
Complainant
  • Kristian Harang
Number
1999-109
Programme
One Network News
Channel/Station
TV One

Summary

A news item on One Network News featured a New Zealand make-up artist, who specialised in painting naked bodies in all-over body paint. She was shown painting a female model for an assignment. An outline of the model’s breasts could be seen through the body paint. The item was broadcast on TV One on 26 April 1999, commencing at 6.00 pm.

Kristian Harang complained to Television New Zealand Limited, the broadcaster, that it was offensive to show a naked woman’s breast, and the item would give young people the impression that it was okay to be half naked in public.

TVNZ said that the item was not prurient, it was discreetly shot and cleverly demonstrated how the body-painting process provided an effective covering for the model. It declined to uphold the complaint.

Dissatisfied with TVNZ’s response, Mr Harang referred his 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.

Decision

The members of the Authority have viewed a tape of the item complained about, and have read the correspondence which is listed in the Appendix. On this occasion, the Authority determines the complaint without a formal hearing.

An item on One Network News on 26 April reported on a New Zealand make-up artist who specialised in painting naked bodies with all-over body paint. The artist, it was reported, had been successful overseas, with a number of her creations having featured in international publications. The item showed the woman painting the body of a model. An outline of the model’s breasts could be seen in the footage.

The broadcaster considered Mr Harang’s complaint about the item in the context of standards G2 and G12 of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice, which require broadcasters:

G2  To take into consideration currently accepted norms of decency and taste in language and behaviour, bearing in mind the context in which any language or behaviour occurs.

G12  To be mindful of the effect any programme may have on children during their normally accepted viewing times.

TVNZ said while the keen-eyed might have detected the woman’s breasts, the item’s purpose was to show how well body paint camouflaged the human form. Offence, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder, TVNZ wrote in rejecting Mr Harang’s complaint that the item strayed beyond accepted norms of decency and taste. It could see no way in which "this harmless item" could have had any adverse effect on a child watching a news item, it concluded.

When referring his complaint to the Authority, Mr Harang reiterated his concern that the item clearly showed a naked woman, even if she was "coloured in paint".

The Authority does not consider that the item threatened standard G2 in any way. The broadcast occurred as a light-hearted and quirky item during the main news bulletin, at a time and during a programme which is of most interest to an adult audience, or to children and young adults watching under the guidance of caregivers. The item did not linger on the woman’s body, which had been cleverly painted to appear fully covered from chin to feet. Her "nakedness" was neither clear nor explicit. For the same reasons, the Authority is satisfied that the item did not threaten standard G12. It is satisfied that there was no breach of standards on this occasion, and notes that it regards the complaint as bordering on vexatious.

 

For the reasons set forth above, the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Sam Maling
Chairperson
29 July 1999

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

1. Kristian Harang’s Complaint to Television New Zealand Limited – 26 April 1999

2. TVNZ’s Response to the Formal Complaint – 10 May 1999

3. Mr Harang’s Referral to the Broadcasting Standards Authority – 12 May 1999

4. TVNZ’s Response to the Authority – 28 May 1999