New Zealand Law Society - Authority rejects complaint about Lundy joke

Authority rejects complaint about Lundy joke

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The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has not upheld a complaint that a joke on television programme The Project referring to murderer Mark Lundy breached the good taste and decency standard.

A segment on the Three programme called ‘Scenes from New Zealand’ features funny personalised car number plates sent in by viewers.

After an introductory remark referring to Mr Lundy’s latest appeal, a photo was shown of a car number plate reading ‘I DID IT’, and presenter Jesse Mulligan joked that Mr Lundy ‘may want to re-think the car he’s using to get to and from court’ and referred to the car ‘travelling at a very high speed’.

Diana Yukich complained that the joke was in poor taste as it made light of domestic violence by alluding to Mr Lundy’s crimes, and undermined the work being done to counter violence against women.

Mediaworks said the references to Mr Lundy were satirical and clearly recognisable as such, and that the joke did not undermine the seriousness about domestic abuse.

The BSA found that while the segment might be considered insensitive by some, taking into account relevant contextual factors and the satirical nature of the comments, as well as the fact the joke did not refer specifically to Mr Lundy’s crimes, the broadcast did not threaten standards of good taste and decency and was unlikely to cause widespread offence or undue distress.