Thursday, 24 March 2011
at 6:54 pm by Julie
This is some vindication for the many many complainants from October 2010, when Henry finally crossed some invisible magical line which only the Establishment seem to be able to see. Anjum put together a useful round-up at the time of the concerns voiced about Henry's racism and arrogant response online.
There was November 2009, when we and others called for Paul Henry to change or go, after he called Susan Boyle a retard and was nasty about those with intellectual disabilities; October 2009, when Henry's inappropriate faith-based support of Sensing Murder psychics went totally OTT as he asked Deb Webber, live, about where a missing child was (and shame on her for answering too); April 2009, when Henry drooled over a woman on air and her dance partner called him a dickhead in response; March 2009, when I first bothered complaining about his prejudiced comments after he belittled a Breakfast guest based on her (totally irrelevant) appearance; not to mention dozens of other remarks and his tendency to just say worse things in his (mis-named) apologies for them.
Props to all those who complained about Henry, some multiple times, through all his ridiculousnesses. If we hadn't done it be assured TVNZ would not have acted as they did, eventually, and Breakfast could still be blighted by his presence. And we wouldn't have had some useful, if difficult, discussions about how we want our media to be; free from prejudice and seeking to challenge those with power, not denigrate those without.
Henry is gone, from TVNZ, but he's not forgotten. He seems to pop up in the newspapers on a regular basis, with rumours of his great new career in the States and gossip column coverage of his trips back to Aotearoa. And I don't think he's genuinely repentant either. Seems to me he's sad he lost his job but he's not much sad about anything else. More he's angry, and feels unfairly treated. Which perhaps is giving him a little taste of what it's like to be the victim of the kind of prejudice he regularly fomented on his show. Although most who were his targets don't have the kind of resources Henry has to cushion the blows.
I hope we never see his like again.