TVNZ have had numerous complaints about Paul Henry's most recent ridiculousness, to them directly, to the Human Rights Commission, and to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. While we don't know yet what their response will be, as Paul Henry's employer, we do know that last time they pretended to take things seriously, but Henry's behaviour has not changed.
But surely we can rely on TVNZ to act responsibly? Despite one of Henry's colleagues distancing himself from the latest gaffe, TVNZ management itself seem to be ok with it all as long as it rates. But perhaps they won't be so happy if their advertisers are unhappy...
What I'd like people to do is to commit to sending emails to five of Breakfast's key advertisers covering the following key points:
- Paul Henry frequently editorialises in a manner that denigrates guests, encourages discrimination against marginalised groups, and judges people based on their appearance
- Paul Henry's offensive comments are unacceptable
- Paul Henry must change his behaviour or be replaced
- As an advertiser choosing to buy time during Breakfast your company is supporting his behaviour and I will therefore not be purchasing anything from your company
To the CEO/Managing Director,I've used the subject line "Will not be spending my money with your company while you advertise on Paul Henry's Breakfast show." Not very snappy, but gets the point across I hope!
I am disappointed that you have chosen to advertise on TVNZ's Breakfast show while Paul Henry remains one of the hosts.
Henry's inappropriate and offensive comments towards guests on the show, and other people mentioned in news items, have continued unabated since he was reprimanded for this behaviour earlier this year.
While Henry and TVNZ have claimed that Breakfast is a light-hearted entertainment show it still purports to be a source of news and current affairs interviews, and Henry's denigration of people featured, particularly women and particularly based on physical appearance, is unacceptable to me.
I will not be watching Breakfast until Henry ceases to act in this way, or is replaced. I will also not be spending my money on your products or services while you continue to advertise on a show that features him.
Please make sure that one of your five emails goes to Heritage Hotels/City Life, as they are the main sponsors of Breakfast. The email to send it to is:
firstname.lastname@example.orgI've noted the following organisations currently sponsoring competitions on Breakfast:
McDonalds -Do let me know if you are aware of any others and I'll add them in to the list.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org *
Village Roadshow - email@example.com
Visit Britain - firstname.lastname@example.org
FreemanX - email@example.com
If you're not sure why you should be so bothered about Paul Henry, here's some links worth checking out:
- The series of incidents dubbed Moustachegate, which included Henry belittling an interview subject's views on a serious topic because she had facial hair, after she had left, and then continuing to dig further in the media afterwards
- Josh Kronfeld calls Paul a dickhead after he comments in a drooling fashion about the appearance of Josh's dance partner
- Paul Henry insensitively encourages telly psychic Deb Webber to get involved in the disappearance of Aisling Symes (a continuation of his general support for the psychics on Sensing Murder in general, and Deb Webber in particular, in a manner more like someone pushing another TVNZ show than behaving like a responsible journalist)
- IHC's call for complaints to the Human Rights Commission, as well as to TVNZ and the Broadcasting Standards Authority, after Henry made offensive comments about Susan Boyle, and also denigrated those living with intellectual disabilities. Again, as with his attack on Stephanie Mills, Henry has continued to make things worse in his response to criticism.
- And here's a few more of Henry's worst hits, from Stuff, ..."They are so arrogant and hideous people, campervan people." Teenage mum a "slapper". Obese children "should be taken away from their parents and put in a car compactor". Convicted murderer Antonie Dixon dies: "I can hear a chorus of people saying 'thank goodness'."
* The McDonald's website lists no email addresses, makes it impossible to find one, and requires you to use the online feedback form. The two emails I had previously tried and then struck out were guesses on my part, both bounced back. The contact form is pretty full on, requiring you to provide your postal address and a phone number, but I've dont that anyway and have requested a response. Will update if I get a better idea for this one, but please do share in comments if you have any tips! UPDATE: Thanks to A Reader who emailed with the nz.mcd.com addresses - I have tried them both and they haven't bounced back yet, so fingers crossed they work!