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Prison rape radio stunt costs MediaWorks

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/08/2016

John Key in the cage at The Rock studio © Mediaworks John Key in the cage at The Rock studio A radio stunt involving Prime Minister John Key and a comment about prison rape has cost MediaWorks $1000 and an on-air statement after complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Mr Key was asked to enter a cage inside The Rock Morning Rumble studio in December last year and asked to "pick up the soap" by the hosts who then quoted a line from a rape scene in the film Deliverance.

The Authority found the stunt was a deliberate reference to prison rape and trivialised sexual violence.

"Sexual violence is a serious issue which affects some of the most vulnerable people in society, including those who are incarcerated," the authority said in its decision, released on Thursday.

"This was not an off-the-cuff or fleeting joke made in the spur of the moment. Rather, the gathering and use of props such as soap, as well as quoting from the film Deliverance, in our view clearly required some forethought."

The stunt went beyond good taste and decency and showed poor judgment, the authority said.

MediaWorks will have to broadcast a statement summarising the authority's findings, and pay $1000 in costs to the Crown.

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