Helen Clark calls for sponsors to withdraw from 'foulmouthed' Canterbury law revue

Helen Clark has called on law firm Chapman Tripp to rethink its sponsorship of a controversial performance put on by law students at the University of Canterbury.

On Friday, Newshub revealed the University of Canterbury Law Students' Society (LAWSOC) revue had prompted complaints from students.

They said it overstepped the mark from satirical to just plain offensive in its comments about women, the Treaty of Waitangi and one student in particular.

The former Prime Minister was also mentioned in the skit show, which was produced and performed by students from August 14-17.

In cellphone footage taken of the event, a student actor says: "Since it's unfair to have a male in a position of power these days, she's made the managing partner castrate himself. His testicles have been donated to Helen Clark."

Clark posted a tweet saying: "Time Chapman Tripp rethought its sponsorship of this foulmouthed event. And wouldn't one expect more from the Law School when an event organised by its student body brings @UCNZ into disrepute? Unimpressed @CTInsights".

The revue is a student tradition, but some students claim this year went too far when it mocked a profoundly deaf student, Raymond Ellwood.

Ellwood was characterised on stage as being severely mentally and physically disabled.

LAWSOC later issued an apology on Facebook, saying: "We made a significant error of judgement in both the references to and portrayal of Raymond".

A spokesperson for Chapman Tripp issued the following statement to Newshub: 

"We were concerned to learn of this complaint about this revue. We sponsor LAWSOC in putting on these performances, and we will be discussing this item in the context of all performances needing to meet agreed community standards."

The School of Law Dean at the University of Canterbury says they do not act as censor. 

"LAWSOC is committed to ensuring that all content within the show is reviewed by an independent external person in future," said Elizabeth Toomey.


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