Family First NZ is welcoming decisions from the Broadcasting Standards Authority today against TV3 regarding explicit sex scenes being shown during a 6pm news items and close to the 8.30 family viewing time.
“These decisions are in contrast to the recent ‘green lights’ given by the BSA effectively allowing full frontal nudity and other offensive sexual content in news coverage – as long as it’s deemed humourous,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The most concerning aspect of these most recent complaints was that TV3 tried to defend them. They argued that the material during the 6pm news was simply ‘challenging’ and had a 37 second warning. The four minute sex scene just after 8.30pm – described by the BSA as ‘graphic, raunchy, and prolonged’ – was also defended by TV3.”
An earlier complaint had been made to TVNZ regarding a porn feature on Close Up which the broadcaster apologised for.
“The incoming tide of sexual content disguised as news is a disturbing trend. Parents are sick and tired of lunging for the remote to protect children from offensive and inappropriate content during family viewing hours and family movies. The tv channels are trying to mask sexual innuendo and pornographic material as news and current events,” says Mr McCoskrie. “They are also disrespecting families by promoting adult programmes during family movies.”
“We would warn families that viewing news and current events programmes together as a family for educational and informational purposes is no longer guaranteed to be safe and appropriate. And that’s a tragedy.”
In a recent poll of 1,000 NZ’ers, respondents were asked, “Television broadcasters are obliged to protect children from sexual content, violent material, and language that exceeds current norms of good taste and decency. Are you concerned about the type of language used, or the level of violence and sex shown on TV before 8.30 pm when children are likely to be watching?”, 65% said they are concerned, 29% said they aren’t, and 6% didn’t know or refused to answer. Women and over 60 year olds are most concerned.
“While the decisions today are welcome, it’s time the broadcasters were put on notice by the BSA and the Minister of Broadcasting to clean their act up and start putting the welfare of families first and protect them from this increasing level of offensive and sexual material,” says Mr McCoskrie.