Thursday, December 3, 2009

Paul Henry Does It Again!

Paul HenryA broadcaster's role is to "inform and entertain", so I've cut TVNZ's Breakfast co-host Paul Henry alot of slack in his often-misguided attempts to "entertain". But his most recent outbreak of foot-in-mouth-disease has polarised viewers and drawn global flak by calling Darling Of The Year Susan Boyle "retarded".
It's a well-published fact that singer Susan Boyle did suffer oxygen deprivation at birth and as a result had learning difficulties. However Henry crossed the line (1) by sniggering about it...and (2) using a word that is to many as offensive as nigger.
Ok, Ms.Boyle does NOT have a high-fashion image: some might say she's frumpy, naive, gauche...but she's real. Look at her original performance on Britain's got Talent (April 2009) – there's a natural person with a HUGE talent, just starting to realise her potential. I must have missed the sign that said: 'Laugh At Me – I'm Retarded'.
Susan BoylePaul Henry often shows a puerile sense of humour, sniggering almost uncontrollably at such words as bottom and balls...and retarded. Such schoolboy humour has no place on national television and surely should've been grown past by the age of 12! He is well overdue a visit to the headmaster...yet his attitude is: "This is water off a duck's back for me. These were light-hearted remarks. I can't recall a time that I've regretted saying anything." Your time might just have come, Paul!
PS: 6 Dec.2009 - The groundswell grows, with even his own workmate disassociating himself from Henry's 'retard' remark.
PS: 21 Dec.2009 - After over 200 complaints, TVNZ has acknowledged that Paul Henry DID breach the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice. Interesting that the decision was delayed nearly a month...until TVNZ Breakfast began its Christmas recess (thus saving Paul the ignominy of apologising to the nation on-camera)!

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