Sex for tea

Herald on Sunday Sep 26, 2010 

Auckland dad Gerhard Sundborn had never laid a complaint about what he saw on TV. He isn’t the type. But watching an explicit scene on the Australian soap Home and Away at 5.30pm changed that. Two characters kissed passionately, the man stripped off the woman’s robe then the woman straddled the man on a table top. Sundborn went in to work at AUT – as director of a longitudinal study into Pacific Island families – and talked the issue over with colleagues. With his 20-month-old daughter and several young nieces and nephews in mind, he laid a complaint. This week, as foreshadowed in the Herald on Sunday, the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) upheld his complaint. It found the episode was incorrectly classified and that the broadcaster had breached standards of good taste and decency by screening sexual material in the G time-band. TV3 bosses are indignant. They’re likely to appeal to the High Court. The broadcaster is worried the BSA board is toughening up. It has also upheld complaints against sexual content in several programmes screened on TVNZ: Band of Brothers, Hung and Close Up. “We think there is a shift,” says MediaWorks legal counsel, Clare Bradley. “And that shift could potentially be commercially problematic for us.” But Sundborn and other parents have become increasingly concerned that the shift is in how much adult content is creeping into shows watched by children