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Fire Paul Henry activism update, Boycott TVNZ Advertisers campaign gearing up

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 pm, October 7th, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, boycott, Ethics, Media, tv - Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 

India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has summoned the New Zealand High Commissioner in New Delhi to please explain Paul Henry’s ultra-racist outburt against Minister Sheila Dikshit, on New Zealand’s state broadcaster TVNZ.

The Minister may also like to ask why Prime Minister John Key giggled in response Henry’s racist attack against our Governor General Anand Satyanand earlier this week. Free Trade Agreement with India anyone? Flourish of tourist coming here from India any time soon? Not bloody likely.

Back home the Boycott TVNZ until they sack Paul Henry Facebook page acquired more than 2500 fans in its first three days.

The online Fire Paul Henry petition has already reached its target of 500 signatures.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority and TVNZ have received a record number of complaints.

Further protests are being planned if Henry returns to TVNZ on 18 October. Somehow I get the feeling the next ones will be a lot bigger and messier.

The Auckland Regional Migrant Service ARMS is planning a Boycott Advertisers of TVNZ campaign if Henry returns to TVNZ on 18 October.

I have a feeling this site will be running a Boycott Advertisers of TVNZ campaign if Henry returns to TVNZ on 18 October and I imagine we won’t be the only ones, I get the feeling The Hand Mirror will be joining us. I suppose the odd picket outside TVNZ advertisers might be envisaged too.

This has already cost New Zealand’s international reputation and our economy, now it’s going to cost TVNZ and any companies that advertise with TVNZ Breakfast. Perhaps Henry’s racism will also cost New Zealand athletes at the Commonwealth Games.

Guess we’ll have to see if Rick Ellis decides to make Henry’s break permanent or not.

UPDATE: Progressive Enterprises threatens boycott of Breakfast advertising.

40 comments on “Fire Paul Henry activism update, Boycott TVNZ Advertisers campaign gearing up”

  1. BLiP 1

    Makes me proud to be a New Zealander.

  2. JayDee 2

    Why wait till he returns, lets have the petition now.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    A day or two ago some of the dim-bulb Henry/bigotry apologists on here were insisting this would have no international coverage, no international repercussions.

    Anyone still think that? Well, here’s that obscure left-wing rag, the Wall Street Journal:

    “We have the first full-blown diplomatic incident of the Commonwealth Games.

    A New Zealand television anchor made fun of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s name several times in an on-air rant (we’ll leave the specifics to your imagination unless you really can’t figure it out, in which case you can watch it in this clip posted on YouTube.)

    India was not amused.

    The Ministry of External Affairs summoned the New Zealand High Commissioner in New Delhi to a meeting (read: scolding) at 12:15 p.m. today; a ministry official said the department was “shocked” by anchor Paul Henry’s remarks. He has reportedly been suspended by TVNZ.

    In a press release, High Commissioner Rupert Holborow said that, “as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, I would like to convey my deep regret for the hurt these comments have caused.”

    “These remarks were culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar. They reflect the views of only one media commentator (who has already been censored for other racist and unacceptable comments), and certainly not the New Zealand Government or people.”

    He added: “As High Commissioner, I always look forward to celebrating the warm and positive links between our two countries and there is never a case for making remarks of this nature which are hurtful.”

    “New Zealand highly values its relationship with India and we pride ourselves on being a welcoming, tolerant and inclusive society,” he said.

    ***

    Summoning the High Commissoner (=Ambassador) is a bloody big deal.

    Henry is now a goner, not on principle (sadly), but on profit and loss. Trade with India is worth far more than any TVNZ dividend. That’s one thing Key does understand.

    • gobsmacked 3.1

      Also, note that our High Commissioner can bring himself to say that Henry’s comments were “racist”, but our Prime Minister somehow can’t.

      Key really is pathetic.

      • Luffa 3.1.1

        Gobsmacked.

        I am in no way defending Henry. I have thought for some time he appeals to a lowest common denominator element. But, we seem to live in a reality TV age – v sad.

        However two clarifications to your post.

        Firstly, the High Commissioner didn’t say that Henry’s comments were racist. He said they were culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar. And that Henry has made other racist and unacceptable comments. There is an implication thet Henry’s comments (about the GG) were regarded as racist, but Rupert didn’t say it.

        Secondly, as someone pointed out on another blog, from an employment law point of view, if Key had jumped down Henry’s throat, either on the show or afterwards, would it have muddied due process?

        Cheers

        L

        • gobsmacked 3.1.1.1

          First point – he said the “other comments” were racist. Clearly that refers to the comments about the G-G. So you’re incorrect.

          Second point – No. The Prime Minister is perfectly entitled to express strong public disapproval of what Paul Henry – or anybody else – says to him.

          That has nothing whatsoever to do with employment law.

    • hateatea 3.2

      I particularly liked the use of the word ‘vulgar’ as, apart from the blatant racism of the GG remarks, that seems to summarise quite nicely what much of the rest of his banter consists of, at least, what I remember of it from more than a year ago.

      BTW am I the only person to be slightly concerned that our High Commissioner doesn’t understand the difference between censored and censured? I believe that the latter is the actual position although it may possibly have been better for everyone had he been ‘censored’!! Preferably before he was ever hired as the Breakfast host

      captcha: memberships

    • Pascal's bookie 3.3

      No worries. Murray ‘Present’ McCully will sort this no probs.

    • Salil 3.4

      Does that mean that on principle you approve of such comments. India is least interested in trade with New Zealand. Sheep? milk?
      Are all of you racist?

  4. bbfloyd 4

    i really can’t believe it has taken this long for the shit to hit the fan for henry.. he has been behaving like an obnoxious boor since he first arrived on tv.. he made susan woods look good, and that isn’t saying much..

  5. nzfp 5

    Captcha: SENSE – because TVNZ didn’t have the “SENSE” or forethought to fire the racist pillock before the issue blew up out of proportion.

    And to think – the racist gits at TVNZ had the audacity to say that Henry was only voicing what most people were thinking. Well I certainly hope the rest of the world can tell the difference between coporate politiking and real peoples opinions.

    We need to protest – visibly – if for anything just to restore our image for the rest of the world.

    I can imagine it now – some guys sitting in a pub in India will be talking amongst themselves and one of them would say “Well if they didn’t all really think like that, the would have all stood up and made a noise about it – I guess they are all racist gits”.

    Kinda reminds me of the stupid comments people make about average everyday Muslims not protesting religious extremists enough, or Germans not protesting Nazi’s and Hitler enough – or Israelis not protesting the Zionist/IDF enough. Well here’s our chance to show we’re just like the rest – or we’re better – because we have the “SENSE” to do so!

  6. Michael 6

    He really needs to be sacked. We cant be looked upon as racial. All of us love india and indian people and this stupid git is spoiling our image internationally. NZ is an open society loving people from all race and ethnicity and his previous and new comments are destroying it. By being quiet we are only helping this. His comments can’t be excused just on a notion that – ” he speaks what people thinks”!! I hope our society does not think like this and we are above all this low and shameful thoughts..

  7. Anne 7

    So what is our MSM going to do? Ignore this news in the hope NZers won’t get to hear about it and, in the process, shield a giggling, ineffectual John Key?

    The story has some possibly serious outcomes for NZ.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    “So what is our MSM going to do?”

    I think they’ll cover it, if only because they have plenty of reporters in New Delhi right now, for the Commonwealth Games. Radio Live had a story from a sports journo, saying NZ was getting a bad press over there.

    If you check out Google News, the Indian media (and twitter etc) are all over it.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      Here’s a shorter one … 🙂

      http://news.google.com/news?ned=in

      I’ll spell it out: New Zealand is currently the lead story on Google News India.

      New Zealand is never the lead story, anywhere. Our elections come and go, and they get a paragraph somewhere overseas. Probably, the last time Google News India really noticed NZ was the death of Sir Edmund Hillary.

      This is huge.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.2

        Oh, only about a billion Indians deciding that NZ is not the friendly welcoming place they thought it was.

        • Madhan 8.1.2.1

          Hi There: We still think Newzealand is a friendly country and people are very friendly too with no racism ever happened before. We really regret that this happened in Newzealand and hopefully Paul henry will pay for his behaviour.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      I’ll spell it out: New Zealand is currently the lead story on Google News India.

      New Zealand is never the lead story, anywhere.

      Well, the 7.1 Christchurch earthquake was pretty close to a news leading national disaster around the world.

      But I think coverage of Paul Henry, in media terms, is going to have worse consequences for NZ, much much worse.

      Guess what. I think John Key is going to come out and condemn Paul Henry’s behaviour as racist and unacceptable, and he is going to to do it very soon.

      • Jum 8.2.1

        So what does that mean? Key sanctions Henry, who the people have said is the most popular man in New Zealand. Key slaps Henry. Key loses the most popular man in New Zealand cup? Henry becomes the ‘martyred man’ to the bitter and twisted? TVNZ starts a reality show for bent (sorry, twisted) politicians and the media – what? Ohh there is one starting next year down South… interesting.

  9. freedom 9

    the tvnz link to the clip has vanished in a puff of it never happened

    • Jum 9.1

      Where else is it? It needs to go to the same countries that said John Key looked ‘uncomfortable’ – nonsense. I watched the embarrassing example of New Zealand public broadcasting.

      He was loving the whole thing because John Key is a man who likes division – division between rich and poor, inequality between women and men, publicly paid private education for the rich none for the poor, jobs for the rightwing and none for the unionised…

      The clip has probably gone back to the editing room to reinvent history.

  10. hateatea 10

    It would seem that Progressive Enterprises have already put TVNZ on notice

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv/4207698/Supermarket-chain-condemns-Henrys-comments

    Now if only some of the other big advertising spenders would do the same

  11. Jum 11

    I think we need to realise just what New Zealanders are these days – nasty, greedy stupid people who think that being anti-pc means being free to insult people. Really, that’s just plain bad manners.

    I always thought being pc was not saying anything if you had nothing nice to say. That was the old New Zealand way of social think. I don’t agree with all the social mores of New Zealand but I thought being polite to people wasn’t a bad thing.

    The person responsible for this bad behaviour is John Key – he was there in person on the day, laughing Paul Henry to go one step further, but will John Key get the sack (one can only hope) but no, that’s not the way life works in this country. Ben, a TVNZ employee, resigned from TVNZ because he couldn’t stand the place that our once respectable televised public broadcasting channel had become.

    Yet the rightwing bloggers on here and on the Breakfast talk back of NAct supporters don’t get the inherent danger here. Internationally, we are a laughing stock. We have travelling Kiwis who could literally be in danger if they are travelling in India or anywhere where someone will take exception to the way that some blimp on tv (seemingly endorsed by all New Zealanders) is behaving towards people of a colour other than white.

    How stupid are these New Zealanders? Even more stupid than I thought they were when NAct got into government because of them.

  12. cardassian 12

    I was discussing this todat with a co-worker of mine who is a former journalist for bbc.
    She couldn’t believe that there is even a discussion about his position and tells me at the bbc it would have been an instant dismissal.
    Shame standards in New Zealand have slipped over the years.

  13. Paul Henry MustGo 13

    Keep Up the Pressure. Write to Progressive Enterprises, the major corporate sponsor of the Breakfast Show upon which Paul Henry regularly spouts racism, sexism, xenophobia and plain old ignorance. Tell them you deplore Mr Henry’s comments and warn them that their brand risks an international affiliation with racism if they don’t immediately pull all advertising. Write to them at customerinfo@progressive.co.nz. Say no to groceries affiliated with hate speech!!

  14. BigSigh 14

    Compare TVNZ’s response to that of CNN over Rick Sanchez’s comments on radio recently. To the effect of Jon Stewart is a bigot, and the media is controlled by jews. Fired within 24 hours. (But granted maybe TVNZ has golden handshake and NZ employment law issues to tackle on that one.)

  15. Gazza 15

    So much for freedom of speech in this country if you say anything about colour your racialist make a joke about a name it’s offensive and racialist, but it is ok for these same people to riot and hurl abuse at westerners who dare question their inhumane practices.
    The current furore is only being blown out of proportion because the Govt is so busy sucking up to India to get a free trade agreement that they ignore the rights of New Zealanders to freedom of thought & speech.
    Having free trade with India is not going to solve their problem as the % between wealth & poverty will never change as is with many Asian countries where corruption has been the norm for all time, as the saying goes ” A leopard cant change it’s spots” point being the current Commonwealth Games fiasco.

    • the sprout 15.1

      Gazza that’s impressive display of ignorance or inability to the read the cogent arguments of the many here who’ve stated their grounds for condemning Paul Henry’s racism.

      I’ll leave your comment up though, because you are a wonderful illustration of the intellectual calibre of Henry’s supporters.

    • nzfp 15.2

      I have to agree with Gazza on one thing:

      the Govt is so busy sucking up to India to get a free trade agreement that they ignore the rights of New Zealanders

      Of course the rights I’m thinking of are the right to a fair deal with employers – especially those that offshore labour to India. Also the right to compete evenly – specifically those employers that keep their labour in New Zealand and find they must compete with slave labour in India. Not to mention the right to protect our industries from foreign Indian capital that comes into our country and buys our assets.

      The ultimate result will be a race to the bottom for New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy.

      Captcha: poor – what our NAct/Labour Government are doing to us by continuing to follow the Globalisation/Free-Trade/Monetarism/Washington Consensus/Neo-Liberal revealed wisdom of the Chicago School of Economics.

      For those of you who don’t know why Globalisation is bad, watch this little interview recorded in 1994:
      “Sir James Goldsmith’s 1994 Globalization Warning — Charlie Rose Show”
      Source: http://thevelocityofmoney.blogspot.com/search/label/Globalisation

  16. Shitkicker 16

    I thought Labour was meant to be pro-worker… so why are you calling for a worker to be fired? What about proper employment process?

    • Bright Red 16.1

      You can fire a worker for gross misconduct. It’s not an abuse of proper proces to do so.

      And the labour movement isn’t pro letting any worker do whatever the hell they want. it’s about fair conditions and decent pay for a decent day’s work.

      I wouldn’t expect you to stand up for any capitalist no matter what they do. although, given you seem to have a very simplistic view of the world, maybe you would.

  17. RedBack 17

    I live in the UK and this has made the BBC & Sky news. I just hope Paul Henry is pleased with his little bigotted self. Not only has he made himself look like a total and utter tool with s*** for brains he is helping perpetuate the myth that those of us from NZ & Aus are a bunch of red neck knuckle dragging morons. Thanks Paul I really appreciate it.

    This is just another in a long line of TVNZ’s utter failure to take decsisive action and remove those “personalities” from their payroll who have built a career out of hideous self promotion. If TVNZ really gave a flying toss about its reputation not only within NZ but also overseas Paul Henry would’ve gone years ago. Maybe this incident proves the institutuionalised bigotry that exists within the organisation.

  18. David 18

    Paul Henry of TVNZ is not a racist. Read my posting to find out the answer yourself!

  19. Ian 19

    Wow

    I am a Kiwi abroad, living in Florida… I just got the link to this ridiculous display from…
    My Mother In Law (An American). TVNZ you need to make an example out of this man.
    So little news makes it to American from NZ and this is what we get? This horrid little man
    acting like a 6 year old and spouting racist comments… wow.

  20. Carol 20

    What a disgrace to NZ this is:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4213980/Paul-Henry-protest-organisers-complain-of-abuse

    Wellington students Narita Chandra and Niki Singh say Paul Henry’s racial comments have stripped them of their national identity and led to a barrage of abuse on a website they set up to promote a protest they’re holding on Monday.

    The pair, who are law students at Victoria University, are organising a rally which will start outside Wellington railway station at noon and head to Parliament. They want Henry to be sacked.

    “We are both first-generation Fijian Indians that were born in New Zealand and we both considered ourselves New Zealanders but, [after] his comments `will the next governor-general look and sound like a New Zealander?’, we feel that’s basically stripped us of our national identity,” Ms Chandra said.

    “We are pretty offended and outraged by his comments and the response by John Key and Television New Zealand.”

    To drum up support for their rally, they set up a Facebook page publicising the event – which has since been bombarded with abusive messages.

    “There have been times when me and my colleague have sat down and burst into tears. People have said: `You should just go back to your country, Paul Henry is good’,” Ms Chandra said.

    In what universe is this abusive & highly prejuduced behaviour acceptable? NZ has shamed itself and exposed a big seam of racism and intolerance of those who are different.

  21. Why not boycott the Rugby World Cup, the RWC is advertising on TVNZ, and will have some games too, so why not make a stand and say you wont watchany rugby world cup games as along as the NZRFU advertised on TVNZ.

    Then lets ee how serious NewZealanders are about paul Henry getting fired and how serious they are about racism.

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