US TV show picks up whinges around the world

31st March

Update: Nutters Label Censors as Morally Bankrupt...

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New Zealand TV censor clears Californication

Nutters have called the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority "morally bankrupt" after it failed to uphold complaints about TV3 drama Californication .

Family First New Zealand laid one of five complaints with the authority which alleged the first episode broadcast in November breached standards of good taste and decency.

Complaints related to a dream sequence where a nun performed oral sex on lead character Hank Moody, constant strong language, teenage drug use and sex scenes.

National director Bob McCoskrie argued that broadcasters are consistently pushing the boundaries of what is normal and acceptable, glorifying and normalising drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, offensive language, violence and degrading treatment of women.

But in a decision released today the BSA said its decision not to uphold the complaint was based on factors such as the programme being preceded by a verbal and written warning, the Adults Only rating, a 9.30pm broadcast time, audience expectations as a result of prior publicity and the title which indicated it was likely to contain "challenging content."


7th May

Update: Blown Away by Californication...

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New Zealand Broadcasting Standards whinges about bad taste

A complaint that an episode of Californication on New Zealand's TV3 involving a threesome sex scene breached standards of good taste and decency has been upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

A man complained after he said he had stumbled on the episode while trying to find something for his family to watch: What met our eyes were two men and one woman on a bed, and the most graphic act of oral sex that left nothing to the imagination.

Another man also complained saying this pornographic segment ... although not showing any explicit genitalia is totally unacceptable for free viewing regardless of the screening time.

The scene screened at 10.04pm a during school holidays.

The complaints were under three sections of the Broadcasting Act - good taste and decency, programme information and children's interests.

TVWorks (TV3) replied that the scene was simulated, did not shown any explicit nudity and was not intended to be titillating.

Three members of the authority found the scene as close to pornographic as possible without showing genitalia. But one member of the authority said he could not uphold the complaints that the scene breached good taste and decency, because it was an integral part of the overall plot of the series. Because the decision was not unanimous, the authority declined to make any order over the breach.

The authority declined the complaints over programme information and the broadcaster not considering the interests of children. It said the sex scene screened after 10pm and TV3 gave sufficient warning that the programme contained sexual material and language and was not suitable for children.


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