Monday, March 29, 2010

Fuzzy logic at the BSA

The latest round of Broadcasting Standards Authority rulings on viewer complaints has been released. Chimpanzee with a receding hairline, Breakfast TV's Paul Henry, has had a complaint dismissed against his use of the word schizo. Back luck to the comics at current affairs improv show 7 Days though. The BSA has ruled against the comedians:
Airing last September on TV3 show 7 Days, a panel of comedians interpreted a young girl's picture of a recent news story - in this case the proposed double-bunking of inmates.

The girl introduced herself, then held up her picture of two prisoners sleeping in a top bunk, and another two arguing about who should get in the bottom bunk first. Part of the girl's picture read: "No money, plus a lot of prisoners, equals a lot of grossness up ahead."

This prompted the comedians to make off-colour jokes of a sexual nature, one involving sodomy.

That the adults-only rated programme had a verbal warning before it started and was on at 10pm was not enough to prevent it from breaching good taste and decency standards, the BSA said. 

The full 7 Days decision is here. Crunch point:
[20]   The Authority considers that the child’s presence and identification in the segment was unnecessary and exploitative. Essentially, the segment directly linked the young girl to a ribald discussion about sex and drew her into a context which was highly inappropriate.
OK, let's get this straight. It's OK for bald chimps to use low brow humour at a time when young children are part of the TV audience. But it's not OK to use the same humour after 10pm at night, after the least subtle viewer warning ever. Go on, have a look.

Sodomy doesn't even make it into the top 31 swear words, not unless you include bugger at 31, below even bloody. Still, it seems that if one uses a primary school kid's drawing as an improv device, jokes must be kept to a child's level of humour. Fart, poo and Paul Henry jokes only.

Why not relive the good old days of NZ comedy fresh at NZ on Screen, back in the day when anything was good for a laugh. HT Spare Room.