A scene implicitly depicting oral sex and genital nudity in an episode of Hung shown on TV One breached the good taste and decency standard, a majority of the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found.
Hung is a comedy-drama series
about a divorced and financially struggling father, Ray Drecker, who starts working as a male prostitute.
In the episode broadcast on TV One at 9.50pm on Monday 22 March, Ray went on a date with a woman called Lenore.
approximately 10.10pm Ray was shown lifting up Lenore's skirt and removing her underwear. One brief shot of Lenore's genital area was shown in the scene, which was shot at a short distance in front of her.
Lenore then sat down on a couch and
placed her legs over Ray's shoulders. Ray crouched with his head between Lenore's legs and performed oral sex. Lenore's legs and torso were visible as Lenore writhed and moaned on the couch. The top half of Lenore's body was fully clothed and her genital
area was obscured by Ray's head.
A formal complaint was made to Television New Zealand that the scene amounted to soft porn .
In response TVNZ said that the programme had screened at 9.50pm, which was over an hour after the 8.30pm
Adults Only (AO) watershed, was classified AO, and was preceded by a written and verbal warning.
The scene complained about had been relatively brief, not detailed, obviously acted and important in the context of the series, TVNZ said.
its decision a majority of the BSA found that that although the context went some way to alerting viewers to the challenging nature of the programme, the content complained about went well beyond the level of sexual material that viewers would expect to
see on free-to-air television.
In the majority's view, the scene complained about was prolonged, explicit and gratuitous, leaving nothing to the imagination and designed solely for the purpose of shocking and titillating the audience, the
In these circumstances factors such as the programme's AO classification and the use of a written and verbal warning were not sufficient to prevent the broadcast breaching standards of good taste and decency, the decision
The BSA did not make any orders, saying that publication of the decision would be sufficient to clarify its expectations surrounding sexual content of this nature.