A lobby group has called the Broadcasting Standards Authority "morally bankrupt" after it failed to uphold complaints about TV3 drama Californication.
Family First New Zealand laid one of five complaints with the authority which alleged the first episode broadcast in November breached standards of good taste and decency.
Complaints related to a dream sequence where a nun performed oral sex on lead character Hank Moody, constant foul language, teenage drug use and explicit sex scenes.
National director Bob McCoskrie argued that broadcasters are consistently pushing the boundaries of what is normal and acceptable, glorifying and normalising drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, offensive language, violence and degrading treatment of women.
But in a decision released today the BSA said its decision not to uphold the complaint was based on factors such as the programme being preceded by a verbal and written warning, the Adults Only rating, a 9.30pm broadcast time, audience expectations as a result of prior publicity and the title which indicated it was likely to contain "challenging content."
It said Hank's "sexual encounters were often more bizarre than satisfying" and scenes such as Hank having sex with a girl he later finds out is 16 are examples of "extraordinary situations" that Hank finds himself in. "It was important to the storyline and, in the authority's view, was not designed to titillate viewers."
Mr McCoskrie calls the BSA's reasons lame and bizarre.By Yvonne Tahana Email Yvonne