BSA lets Jono and Ben off the hook over naughty word

Warning: This article contains language that may offend.

A complaint that labelled Jono Pryor's swearing on the radio "inappropriate and offensive" has been thrown out by the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA).

The broadcaster used the word "wanker" on his The Edge radio show, Jono, Ben & Sharyn, in August, which triggered the official complaint.

Pryor used the word while referring to a TV channel, in a manner that MediaWorks insisted was "not intended in a literal sense".

The complainant claimed the word "wanker" is unacceptable, even when used jokingly, and is likely to offend most New Zealanders more than words like "bugger" and "dick".

MediaWorks, which owns The Edge, argued the Jono, Ben & Sharyn show targets listeners aged 18 to 34 and "regularly broadcasts provocative and 'edgy' content".

"We do not consider this broadcast reached the high threshold necessary to warrant limiting the broadcaster's right to freedom of expression," the BSA stated in its ruling.

"While the use of the word 'wanker' is coarse, it was not used in an abusive manner or directed towards any individual, which mitigated its potential offensiveness."

The complainant also claimed children were at risk of hearing the word while in a moving car that happened to broadcast it while flicking between radio stations.

However, the BSA ruled it was unlikely to "unduly alarm or distress any children who happened to be listening".


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