Canterbury law students mock profoundly deaf student in 'satirical' show

Law students at the University of Canterbury have apologised after a skit show ridiculed a profoundly deaf student. 

Leading commercial law firm Chapman Tripp sponsors the annual Law revue show, which made controversial comments this year about the Treaty of Waitangi, women and sexual misconduct. 

It's a student tradition, but this year the University of Canterbury fielded complaints from students who say the law revue was just plain offensive. 

The three-night show was billed as a satirical take on the movie Anchorman

The sponsored revue ridiculed political correctness as one student's phone video shows. 

 "Since it's unfair to have a male in a position of power these days, she's made the managing partner castrate himself," the video shows one student saying.

"His testicles have been donated to Helen Clark."

It targeted not just politicians but one student in particular - Raymond Ellwood 

He's a promoter of diversity and is known for producing calendars which feature fellow students. 

"They made fun of my passion to help other people," Ellwood told Newshub.

Ellwood was characterised on stage as severely mentally and physically disabled. And there was no doubt who was being portrayed - he was mentioned by name.

"I'm not the best speaker so it is upsetting to be portrayed so negatively," he told Newshub.

Chapman Tripp says it was concerned to hear of the complaint and says it will be discussing this in the context of all performances needing to meet agreed community standards. 

Law School dean Elizabeth Toomey says it's not the university's role to act as censor, but she did facilitate a meeting which led to an apology on Facebook. 

"We made a significant error of judgement in both the references to and portrayal of Raymond" said the Law Students Society on Tuesday.

While Ellwood and other students are calling for sponsorship to be pulled from future revues, the Law Students Society's president says from now on content will be reviewed by an independent external person first.