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Invercargill band causes offense at SIT

Invercargill band causes offense at SIT

Rachael Goldsmith

20/08/08


Invercargill student band “The Livingroom (The)rapists” have scrambled to defend their controversial name after promotional material distributed at the Southern Institute of Technology shocked students and tutors.

Contemporary music programme students Michael Taylor, Michael Bradford and Eamon O’Neil recorded their album “Chicken Vindaloo” at their Invercargill flat in May.

Promotional material for the album was distributed last month, using the bracketed form of their name on posters placed around the campus.

Contemporary music programme manager Peter Skerrett said he had torn many of the posters down, but some were still appearing around the campus.

“I tore them down as soon as I saw them. They were offensive to me.”

The band claims their name has been misconceived.

“We were experimenting with fancy ways to write our name, and didn’t think it would be interpreted that way,” Mr Bradford said.

Alan Hughes, who is the head of faculty for contemporary music courses, said, “While there is no official policy covering this sort of material, we hope that students will use common sense when it comes to material that may be deemed offensive.”

SIT student representative Erica Donovan said she wasn’t thrilled with the poster either.

“Although I’m big on free speech, posters up at SIT shouldn’t be offensive. Rape is a serious issue and shouldn’t be joked about. I find the poster offensive.”

An Invercargill Women’s Refuge spokesperson would not comment, as she did not want to encourage publicity of “shock-value stunts”.

An Advertising Standards Authority spokeswoman said it would look at a complaint if one was laid.

They could investigate whether the poster breached the Advertising Code of Ethics’ decency, offensive material and violence rules.

Band members said they intended to remove the brackets on future promotional material.

“We never meant to cause offense and we are shocked at the reaction. We hope this won’t put people off listening to our music,” Mr Bradford said.

More information on the band can be found at www.bebo.com/livingroomtherapists

ENDS

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