In his Politically Incorrect Parenting Show on TV One, Latta explained teenagers' behaviour by describing them as "mental" and "not right in the head".
Christopher Banks, 33, who has bipolar disorder, argued Latta was in breach of the TV broadcasting code by encouraging discrimination.
On his blog bipolarbear.co.nz, he accused Latta of damaging public perceptions of mental health.
"It ticks off every stereotype in the book. It's a step too far and ill-considered."naturally, i had to go backto mr banks' blog to see what he'd written, and it's a pretty fine post. i'd recommend you read all of it. the comments section is another story, as the regular "your views" commenters turn up, don't bother reading the post, and come out with the usual bingo card of comments - get over it, switch channels, socialist nazis, and the like. i have to say that i did love this response from mr banks:
And sorry, but I don’t “switch channels” when something unjust or unfair is happening. I wouldn’t walk past someone being bullied in the street because I found it offensive, so I don’t see any difference when someone does it on television, on a government channel that we all happen to own.
on the whole, he has done extremely well dealing with a whole heap of nastiness. tvnz has not managed to do very well in their response, which is basically "he didn't intend to be offensive" and "it was just a joke":
"The intent of his show is not to denigrate anybody or anything, but to help and to educate using humour and, from time to time, exaggerations for effect."
as to intent, well i'll just steal this link from QoT's post (if swearing bothers you/is blocked by your system, then here's another one). as to it being a joke, mr banks' description of the "uncle jack" sketch included in the programme shows that this was way more than a quick & passing reference to mental illness. furthermore, as mr banks points out, when a qualified clinial psychiatrist thinks it's ok to be making fun of people with mental illness, that has a lot more impact than your average comedian.
one point not picked up by mr banks, but made on a facebook discussion is also very pertinent:
i'll finish with a link to the second post on this subject by mr banks, and second his recommendation that you put in a broadcasting complaint if you have the time.