Queenstown man’s complaint over ‘paedophilia’ joke fails


A Queenstowner’s complaint a radio show broadcast bad taste jokes about paedophilia has been dismissed by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Local James Hawthorne took issue with radio station George FM playing audio from a YouTube parody in October.

The station’s George Selectah Show broadcast the parody of an advert for ‘Chaffers New Zealand Style Deck Sealant’.

It lampooned the way New Zealanders pronounce the word ‘deck’ to sound like ‘dick’.

The clip, mimicking the Kiwi accent, included a phrase that referenced children and included innuendo relating to paedophilia – Mountain Scene has decided not to publish those phrases for reasons of taste.

However, the two-minute clip also included the phrase: “All my neighbours are jealous of my deck. Isn’t that right, Jim? – his wife is always on my deck, begging me to know the secret of my perfect deck.”

Another joke phrase was: “After all, summer times is all about spending time on your deck. I’ll often have 20 to 30 people on my deck at once. They can really wear your deck out.” 

It was broadcast at 11.30am on a Friday morning. 

Hawthorne made a formal complaint to the station’s owner Radio Works Ltd saying the clip was highly offensive and in very bad taste.

But Radio Works declined to investigate saying Hawthorne had engaged in “seriously abusive communications to and about George FM”.

So Hawthorne complained to the Authority arguing the repeated use of the ‘dick’ was inappropriate at that time of the morning. 

Hawthorne said the host was “making a joke about the rape of children” on a show broadcast in the middle of the day when “potentially thousands of children were listening”.

Radio Works told the Authority that the broadcast was ‘humorous and a play on the difference of accents and was not about paedophilia at all”. 

The Authority published its decision earlier this month, saying standards had not been breached.

“The Authority did not uphold the complaint that comments… were in bad taste and joked about paedophilia,” it reads.

“This was clearly intended to be humorous and did not promote or endorse paedophilia. 

“Most regular listeners of George FM would not have been offended, taking into account the station’s target audience and that the content was broadcast during school time when children were unlikely to be listening.”

The Authority concluded it was obvious from the tone and light-hearted delivery of the comments that this was “a play on words and utilised shock humour”.