TVNZ skit on Colin Craig unfair - BSA

Screenshot of the Colin Craig skit

UPDATED: TVNZ says it will not appeal the decision but will broadcast an apology as directed by the BSA.

TVNZ says the apology statement will appear on screen during Wednesday's Seven Sharp broadcast and be voiced over by one of Seven Sharp's team - not a presenter,  as per the BSA's decision. 

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has ordered TVNZ to apologise to Conservative Party leader Colin Craig for an item on Seven Sharp.

TVNZ must broadcast an apology to Mr Craig for unfair treatment and pay $1500 to the Crown.

A skit on the programme lampooned Mr Craig in reference to his threat of defamation against satirical website The Civilian.

The broadcast, called “Jesse’s guide to making fun of Colin Craig,” has since been removed from the TVNZ website.

In it, Mr Mulligan gave advice on how to lampoon Mr Craig without getting in trouble with the lawyers.  

He had called Mr Craig a “nutcase,” a “doofus” and a “smarmy rich prick,” saying he felt comfortable using these terms, as they were his honest opinion.

The BSA decided these comments were “personal abuse masquerading as satire” and breached the fairness standard.

The BSA says comments about Mr Craig’s personal character and attributes went too far and turned the item into a sustained personal attack. It says the attack was childish and unfair, and in circumstances where he had no chance to defend himself. 

Five people had complained of the skit to the BSA, Ross Craig, Tom Frewen, Derek Parrott, Andrew Wilson and Dennis Walker.

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8 Comments & Questions

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Mr Mulligan might now realise he's neither funny nor clever - bit like his TV show & his food opinions


I guess that makes Mr Mulligan a “nutcase,” a “doofus” and a smarmy wannabe rich prick.


Congratulations to the BSA for an entirely justified finding. Jesse Mulligan is labelled as a comedian but I find his antics to be both childish and embarrassing. While I'm no fan of Colin Craig, everyone deserves the right to be able to defend their reputation from the Mulligans of this world...


I felt sorry for the poor guy on Friday night who he embarrassed saying that be was a Doctor of Film and only worked at a video store. He goes too far.


Few presenters have the skill to lampoon a public figure in an comical, intelligent and respectful way, Mulligan certainly isn't one of these.


Well - the saving grace for Colin Craig is that it was only broadcast on 7Sharp.

It's not like it was on the 3am re-run of the 1974 Welsh knitting Championships where plenty more might have seen it.


I can't believe that TVNZ has persisted for so long with trying to feed us the pap that Seven Sharp delivers. John Campbell doesn't always fulfill but there is usually something meaty to devour. And for us long-suffering earthquake-stricken Christchurch residents we are mighty thankful for his steadfast advocacy for relief from our plight.


Thank you BSA for your well justified decision in this matter. TV 1's 7.00 pm weeknight slot has become a National embarrassment and this ruling just might be sufficient to precipitate some changes. We can only hope, and continue to watch TV 3 in the meantime. Mr Mulligan has to be the most unfunny and irritating person currently appearing on NZ TV. He falls short as a presenter AND as a comedian. A pity that he wasn't required to personally deliver the apology.


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