New Zealand Law Society - Twisted reality: Broadcasting complaint against The Block NZ upheld

Twisted reality: Broadcasting complaint against The Block NZ upheld

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The Broadcasting Standards Authority has upheld a complaint that a tiler who featured in an episode of the reality renovation show The Block NZ: Villa Wars was treated unfairly.

An episode of the show, broadcast on MediaWorks' TV3, portrayed Ljubisa Djurdjevic as a 'temperamental European Tiler' who allegedly wanted to be paid in advance and went missing when he was not paid.

Mr Djurdjevic complained that he had made it clear he did not want to be shown on the programme and said the show misrepresented his work ethic. He said rather than demanding payment upfront for work not completed, as portrayed on the show, he was actually seeking money for work already done.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority decision upholds a complaint that Mr Djurdjevic was treated unfairly and says key facts about his professional conduct were misrepresented. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that MediaWorks also breached a number of additional standards.

"We remind broadcasters that in reality television, the 'story' and the pace of filming cannot be prioritised over fairness to participants, especially when an individual has said they do not want to be featured in any broadcast," it says.

"This programme had the potential to be damaging to Mr Djurdjevic's professional reputation and business interests and the broadcaster ought to have recognised this."