IT WAS ALWAYS THESE COMMENTS THAT MADE ME LOATH PAUL HENRY. AND THE FACT TVNZ LET HIM OFF THE HOOK WITH NO PUNISHMENT AT ALL. FROM GAY NEWS NETWORK….
Leading LGBTI mental health expert, Paul Martin, has written to Network Ten to express his concern over the hiring of controversial New Zealand broadcaster, Paul Henry, as co-host for its flagship Breakfast program due to be launched early next year.
Martin, a Brisbane-based psychologist with over 25 years experience in dealing with mental health issues affecting LGBTI people, told SX that media reports of comments Henry made in 2009 while a live morning show host for TVNZ about homosexuality being “unnatural”, were somewhat disconcerting.
“Given that many LGBTI grow up developing negative beliefs about what it means to be ‘different’ which includes being disordered and defective, words like this can confirm for the person that these beliefs are in fact true. This is what causes psychological damage such as depression and anxiety,” Martin said.
A complaint made to New Zealand’s Broadcasting Standards Authority about Henry’s comments about homosexuality was not upheld following an investigation.
THE BSA REPORT FROM THE TIME…..
The comments were made by Henry during a discussion about a proposed law change to allow homosexual couples to adopt children.
On the August 20 broadcast of Breakfast, Henry said he was “iffy” about the law change and that homosexuality was “unnatural”.
His co-host Alison Mau questioned Henry’s remarks and read out viewer feedback, including one that said, “to call this unnatural is ludicrous and narrow-minded. Gay couples are great parents and are more than qualified to raise children.”
Henry replied that people should not be frightened of saying that homosexuality was unnatural.
“It is unnatural. Although homosexuality is through all species. I don’t know if it’s through all species but many, many species. A lot of monkeys are homosexual,” Henry said.
Later in the discussion he said: “The thing is, though, if you go to any animal park, and I’ve got to be careful what I say here, but if you go to any animal park, you will find monkeys being filthy with each other.”
Mau responded: “That is completely beside the point.”
Complainant Ken Cage said Henry’s comments were offensive and the message conveyed justified “bullying others on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation”.
The Free-to-Air Broadcasting Code of Practice says broadcasters should not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the community because of, among other things, sexual orientation.
The authority found that while the comments were clearly provocative and would have offended some viewers, they were framed in a way that encouraged discussion about the proposed law change.
Opposing views were clearly presented by the programme’s co-host, by two MPs interviewed on the programme and in viewer feedback, the authority said.