Mediaworks wbt-ed for ‘soap joke’

Mediaworks has been wet bus ticketed by the Broadcasting Standards Authority who upheld a complaint against them for a crass ‘joke’ made on The Rock radio station when John Key was on air.

The Rock and Newshub don’t seem to be covering this yet so Stuff: PM on prison rape joke: ‘It’s nothing to do with me’

Prime Minister John Key has not offered an apology for his involvement in a radio stunt referring to prison rape, claiming he wasn’t aware of the reference.

In December, Key was asked by The Rock radio hosts to enter a cage and “pick up the soap” – a reference to prison rape.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority upheld a complaint on Thursday ruling the skit “went too far and showed poor judgment”. It was also “inappropriate and in poor taste, and would have offended many people.”

The Authority ruled the stunt went beyond the norms of “good taste and decency” and ordered the broadcaster MediaWorks to pay $1000 to the Crown. 

The Rock is known for “an irreverent and controversial brand of humour”, the Authority conceded, but the gathering and use of props such as soap, and quoting from the film Deliverance “clearly required some forethought”.

“This broadcast crossed the line from legitimate humour into a radio stunt which trivialised the issue of sexual violence by depicting a prison rape scene, for the purposes of entertainment,” the decision said.

“Sexual violence is a serious issue which affects some of the most vulnerable people in society, including those who are incarcerated. We agree with the complainant that making light of sexual violence was inconsistent with the objectives of this standard. The content of the broadcast in this respect was likely to cause distress to some people.”

The Authority ordered MediaWorks to broadcast a statement summarising the upheld aspects of its decision on top of costs to the Crown.

A Mediaworks spokesperson said the company accepted the decision but wouldn’t make any further comment.

I think it was disgraceful of the dicks at The Rock who somehow thought it would be funny putting the Prime Minister in such an embarrassing situation.

But Key didn’t deal with it anywhere near as well as he should have either – and still appears to be dealing with it poorly. It would be good if he would express some acknowledgement of the inappropriateness but it looks like he is trying to avoid any responsibility.

At The Rock they state:


Be funny. Don’t be a dick. Read commenting guidelines.

And in their guidelines:

Don’t : Be a knob. No one likes comments that are offensive and do not add any value in any way to the photo/video/topic of discussion.

It’s a pity they don’t follow their own advice.

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  1. Blazer

     /  25th August 2016

    is this really behaviour befitting a P.M?That is the question.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  26th August 2016

      This is blaming the victim.

      He was set up and the ‘joke’ fell flat because he obviously didn’t see it. He can’t be blamed for someone else’s crass and childish sense of humour.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  25th August 2016

    Surely the BSA could just be abolished and defamation law together with normal competitive pressure be left to operate without its pointless and often pretentious posturing.

    I didn’t need the BSA to tell me that The Rock is obviously run by and for useless jerks.

    • Gezza

       /  26th August 2016

      I think the point of PG’s post is perhaps to suggest that the PM ought to have said so at the time, & the fact that he didn’t might in some ways perhaps strengthen the argument of some *loony lefties* that the country is in fact being run the same way?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  26th August 2016

        The PM can’t change the electorate. All he can do is get the useless jerks to vote for him rather than someone worse.


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