Article Title:BBC decision highlights homophobic broadcasting in NZ
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:2nd October 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2037
Text:The BBC has been warned by industry watchdog the Broadcasting Standards Commission, following a complaint from a member of the public over the use of the word "pansy" in a satirical news programme on radio. The Commission said the humour on the programme had gone beyond "acceptable standards" and could be construed as homophobic. "It is not a straightforward term of homophobic insult in the way others might be, and a good deal gentler than most," said the BBC in its defence. It remains to be seen if this decision will have any noticeable effect on media in New Zealand, where entertainers like Mike King feel free to use homophobic insults freely on television in the name of "comedy". New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) makes allowances for comments of a comedic or satirical nature, but complaints from viewers or listeners are not investigated until a complaint is first received and responded to by the broadcaster concerned. The King comments pale in comparison to a recent six-part series of the locally-produced fundamentalist Christian show Destiny Television entitled Homosexuality, Religion and God, which TVNZ have subsequently admitted breached standards but have declined to censure or force an apology from the programme's producer, Destiny Church, defending the Church's right to religious freedom under New Zealand's Bill of Rights. Several complaints are currently before the BSA about the series, which saw pastor Brian Tamaki inflaming a fervently religious audience by describing homosexuals as "hating God" and being possessed by evil spirits of perversion, and that New Zealand's Human Rights Act had opened the door for sexual perversions like homosexuality.    
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