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Kim Hill, TV ONE, “Hate Speech” Ban & Chief Censor

Mon, 29 Nov 2004

Kim Hill, TV ONE, “Hate Speech” Ban & Gay Chief Censor

The Society commends the Chief Censor Mr Bill Hastings for banning the extremely violent computer game “Postal 2”. On the TV ONE programme “Face To Face With Kim Hill” (Wednesday 10.30 p.m. 24/11/04) with interviewer Ms Kim Hill, set to air again on TV ONE Saturday morning (8 a.m. 27/11), Hastings said that it glamourised extreme violence and cruelty and was not in the “public good”.

“The ban appears to be justified based on aspects of the game highlighted,” said Society president Mike Petrus today. “Having demonstrated his Office’s ability to ban such material in line with the law, the Society continues to be at a complete loss to understand why Mr Hastings’ has continued to allow films that glamourise brutal sexual violence and extreme graphic violence, like “Baise-Moi,” with its four-and-a-half minute explicit depiction of brutal rape (including extended close-ups of vaginal penetration and anal rape); to be classified as suitable for persons 18 years of age and older (for viewing in any NZ cinema and to any student attending a university film media study course).

In late July this year Mr Hastings classified the French ultra-violent film “Irreversible,” which has a ten minute anal rape scene of a young woman by a homosexual and extreme violence, as R18 and suitable for mainstream theatrical release. The film, which had been submitted to the Office for a reconsideration of its classification by the distributor in early July, once reclassified in late July with the direct assistance of Mr Hastings, screened in three main cities for about a month with very low attendance. Cinema operators were advised by Mr Hastings’ Office to post the telephone help-line numbers of Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services in all cinema foyers so distressed and traumatised cinema patrons could get help.

In 2002 Mr Hastings granted an R18 classification to the Japanese sex-violence film “Visitor Q” which contains extended scenes of brutal sexual violence and rape, necrophilia (sex with a corpse), sex involving human excrement, mutilation of a corpse for sexual arousal, extreme lactation and incest. This year he granted an R18 classification to the film “Twenty-nine Palms” which features brutal anal rape and prolonged depictions highlighting the sexual satisfaction achieved by the rapist as he commits his crimes.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of films containing brutal sexual violence, the sexual degradation and humiliation of women and graphic violence, that have been cleared for adult audiences (both theatrical and non-theatrical releases), since Mr Hastings took up his statutory role as head of the Classification Office. (He was appointed to the position by the Governor-General whose husband Mr Peter Cartwright is a member of the Film and Literature Board of Review, on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Police, the Hon. George Hawkins).

Kim Hill raised with Mr Hastings the Society’s concerns over “Baise-Moi”. He provided no justification for why his Office granted to the theatrical release of this film an R18 classification, other than to hint that it might have some degree of artistic merit as a “feminist take” on violence. He failed to explain why, at best extremely limited artistic merit, could be viewed as outweighing the injurious impact of the vast array of “objectionable” content – thereby ‘justifying’ its inclusion. He failed to explain why excisions could not have been made to the film. (The British censorship authority cut ten seconds from the rape scene before it could be screened as R18 and the Australian Board of Review banned the film).

All reviews of this film have highlighted its total lack of artistic merit. Peter Calder, for example, film reviewer for the NZ Herald savaged the film as pornographic trash, totally lacking any artistic merit. Mr Hastings’ Office reported in its decision on the film:

“The overwhelming effect, however, remains the shocking and unrelenting presentation of violence, much of which has been sexualised due to the association of these images with those of explicit sex. Many of the sexual images are presented using the constructs commonly seen in explicit material [pornography] intended for adult sexual arousal… this constant juxtaposing of sex and violence has the effect of sexualising the violence as well as adding a violent reading to the sex. Each element on its own is less problematic than the juxtaposition of both.”

Ms Hill zeroed in on the fact that the Chief Censor’s deputy, Ms Nicola McCully is a known lesbian, while Hastings is an openly homosexual man: two known “gays” holding the only statutory positions in the Classification Office. She asked whether their sexual orientation meant that they were “liberal” on moral issues, whether being “gay” impacted in any way on the making of their classification decisions and whether there was sufficient balance in the Office to reflect mainstream NZ society values. Mr Hastings argued that sexual orientation had no bearing on the nature of his or his colleagues’ decisions.

Kim Hill then seized the opportunity to ask him how he could justify his involvement in banning the two Christian Living Word videos on the basis that they were critical of homosexual and lesbian lifestyle and gay-rights activism. (“GayRights/Special Rights: Inside the Gay Agenda” and “AIDS: What you haven’t been told”). She noted that the Court of Appeal concluded, in quashing the banning order and ordering a re-classification of both videos, that neither had been shown to contain any sex, violence, crime, cruelty or violence and consequently could never come within the jurisdiction of the censors, on the basis that they contained content that necessitated some restriction (they were subsequently reclassified “unrestricted” due to lack of such content).

Mr Hastings was quick to try and distance himself completely from the banning order imposed on the videos which he described as “talking head videos”. He thereby sought to exonerate himself from any charge that his “sexual orientation” had influenced his decision-making. He did this by disingenuously highlighting the fact that it was the Film and Literature Board of Review that had done the ‘dirty deed’ by imposing the banning order on the videos, not the Office of Film and Literature Classification that he now heads. While this is true, he failed to even hint at the fact that prior to his holding a position in the Office he had been Deputy President of the Board of Review.

Ms Hill was too astute to see through this deception and went straight for the jugular. She pointed out that Hastings had been on the Board that had actually issued the banning order. Hasting was caught out. Again he tried to distance himself from the ‘dirty deed’ by highlighting the fact that he was only one of nine members of the Board at the time and that the Society (SPCS) gives him too much credit to assert that he could have possibly influenced the banning order. Ms Hill ceased her probing at this point, beguiled perhaps by what appeared to be his self-deprecating comment, or just exasperated with Hastings’ lack of disclosure. While it is true there were nine members on the Board, headed by barrister Ms Sandra Moran, that issued the decision, Hastings never disclosed to Hill that he had written the decision.

In the Court of Appeal in Wellington on Thursday 18 November 2004, Mr John Oliver, senior Counsel for the Board of Review, stated clearly that the Board’s decision on the Living Word videos was written by Mr Hastings who at that time was Deputy President of the Board. The proceedings (Society v Board. Re: Baise-Moi) were recorded by a broadcaster in Court for the full-day hearing and can be verified.

In the latest Annual Report from the Classification Office, Mr Hastings has acknowledged that the Review Board he was on in 1997, acted outside its jurisdiction when it re-classified the two Living Word videos, because the applicant for review had filed their application outside the statutory time limit (on 17/2/97 see p. 16, footnote 14).

Why then would a Board grant special favours to an applicant under such circumstances? One only needs to examine the ‘credentials’ of the applicant to answer this question. The applicant was the Human Rights Action Group (Wellington), an openly “gay” lobby group, represented by a practising homosexual man, Mr Calum Bennachie of Wellington (formerly called Calum Sawyer) who funded all litigation using legal aid funds. This group whose members were never identified, first took the videos to the Chief Censor’s Office in 1996 and they were classified R18, having previously been “unrestricted” (and recommended for those over 16 years of age).

Unhappy with this ruling signed off by the then Chief Censor, the late Ms Kathryn Paterson, HRAG appealed to the Board for a re-classification. HRAG (=Calum Bennachie) was determined to get both videos banned. (The Society accepts HRAG’s right to have pursued this course in principle). However, even though HRAG’s application to the Board was well outside the statutory time limit, the Board allowed the review to proceed. The Board whose two senior members were both experienced lawyers, breached its jurisdiction. The Living Word case advanced on appeal, following the Board’s banning order, to the High Court, then to the Court of Appeal and then back to the Board. Nine months after the Court of Appeal directed the Board to reclassify them, the Board very reluctantly classified them “unrestricted” (the distributor had to threaten the Board with legal action in the High Court before it would issue its decision).

The Society’s problem with many of the decisions that have been issued by the Office under Mr Hastings’ leadership, is that the clear intention of parliament as embodied is the Classification Act, particularly section 3, is being ignored. In other words the law is not being applied properly to films that depict sexual violence, degrading sex acts, and extreme violence mixed with explicit sex etc. (“objectionable” content).

Mr Hastings has continued to use his Office’s Annual Report to lambast the unanimous Court of Appeal ruling on the Living Word videos which he strongly disagrees with, every year since its decision was issued. He has been a key figure along with Mr Calum Bennachie (HRAG) in ensuring that the Government Administration Committee, chaired by Labour MP Ms Dianne Yates, examines and considers “hate speech” legislation. This review is currently well underway.

If the videos can’t be banned under the Classification Act via the Chief Censor’s Office, the plan is to have them banned by Act of Parliament, nullifying the unanimous Court of Appeal decision. “Hate crime” is now defined by this PC-government to include any expression of opposition to the Civil Union Bill or Relationship Bill, or any criticism of “gay” lifestyle choice. There is ample evidence to prove this point and it will become more obvious to the discerning public as the Labour government’s social engineering juggernaut rolls on in a spirit of with “gay” abandon.

ENDS
Chief Censor

The Society commends the Chief Censor Mr Bill Hastings for banning the extremely violent computer game “Postal 2”. On the TV ONE programme “Face To Face With Kim Hill” (Wednesday 10.30 p.m. 24/11/04) with interviewer Ms Kim Hill, set to air again on TV ONE Saturday morning (8 a.m. 27/11), Hastings said that it glamourised extreme violence and cruelty and was not in the “public good”.

“The ban appears to be justified based on aspects of the game highlighted,” said Society president Mike Petrus today. “Having demonstrated his Office’s ability to ban such material in line with the law, the Society continues to be at a complete loss to understand why Mr Hastings’ has continued to allow films that glamourise brutal sexual violence and extreme graphic violence, like “Baise-Moi,” with its four-and-a-half minute explicit depiction of brutal rape (including extended close-ups of vaginal penetration and anal rape); to be classified as suitable for persons 18 years of age and older (for viewing in any NZ cinema and to any student attending a university film media study course).

In late July this year Mr Hastings classified the French ultra-violent film “Irreversible,” which has a ten minute anal rape scene of a young woman by a homosexual and extreme violence, as R18 and suitable for mainstream theatrical release. The film, which had been submitted to the Office for a reconsideration of its classification by the distributor in early July, once reclassified in late July with the direct assistance of Mr Hastings, screened in three main cities for about a month with very low attendance. Cinema operators were advised by Mr Hastings’ Office to post the telephone help-line numbers of Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services in all cinema foyers so distressed and traumatised cinema patrons could get help.

In 2002 Mr Hastings granted an R18 classification to the Japanese sex-violence film “Visitor Q” which contains extended scenes of brutal sexual violence and rape, necrophilia (sex with a corpse), sex involving human excrement, mutilation of a corpse for sexual arousal, extreme lactation and incest. This year he granted an R18 classification to the film “Twenty-nine Palms” which features brutal anal rape and prolonged depictions highlighting the sexual satisfaction achieved by the rapist as he commits his crimes.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of films containing brutal sexual violence, the sexual degradation and humiliation of women and graphic violence, that have been cleared for adult audiences (both theatrical and non-theatrical releases), since Mr Hastings took up his statutory role as head of the Classification Office. (He was appointed to the position by the Governor-General whose husband Mr Peter Cartwright is a member of the Film and Literature Board of Review, on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Police, the Hon. George Hawkins).

Kim Hill raised with Mr Hastings the Society’s concerns over “Baise-Moi”. He provided no justification for why his Office granted to the theatrical release of this film an R18 classification, other than to hint that it might have some degree of artistic merit as a “feminist take” on violence. He failed to explain why, at best extremely limited artistic merit, could be viewed as outweighing the injurious impact of the vast array of “objectionable” content – thereby ‘justifying’ its inclusion. He failed to explain why excisions could not have been made to the film. (The British censorship authority cut ten seconds from the rape scene before it could be screened as R18 and the Australian Board of Review banned the film).

All reviews of this film have highlighted its total lack of artistic merit. Peter Calder, for example, film reviewer for the NZ Herald savaged the film as pornographic trash, totally lacking any artistic merit. Mr Hastings’ Office reported in its decision on the film:

“The overwhelming effect, however, remains the shocking and unrelenting presentation of violence, much of which has been sexualised due to the association of these images with those of explicit sex. Many of the sexual images are presented using the constructs commonly seen in explicit material [pornography] intended for adult sexual arousal… this constant juxtaposing of sex and violence has the effect of sexualising the violence as well as adding a violent reading to the sex. Each element on its own is less problematic than the juxtaposition of both.”

Ms Hill zeroed in on the fact that the Chief Censor’s deputy, Ms Nicola McCully is a known lesbian, while Hastings is an openly homosexual man: two known “gays” holding the only statutory positions in the Classification Office. She asked whether their sexual orientation meant that they were “liberal” on moral issues, whether being “gay” impacted in any way on the making of their classification decisions and whether there was sufficient balance in the Office to reflect mainstream NZ society values. Mr Hastings argued that sexual orientation had no bearing on the nature of his or his colleagues’ decisions.

Kim Hill then seized the opportunity to ask him how he could justify his involvement in banning the two Christian Living Word videos on the basis that they were critical of homosexual and lesbian lifestyle and gay-rights activism. (“GayRights/Special Rights: Inside the Gay Agenda” and “AIDS: What you haven’t been told”). She noted that the Court of Appeal concluded, in quashing the banning order and ordering a re-classification of both videos, that neither had been shown to contain any sex, violence, crime, cruelty or violence and consequently could never come within the jurisdiction of the censors, on the basis that they contained content that necessitated some restriction (they were subsequently reclassified “unrestricted” due to lack of such content).

Mr Hastings was quick to try and distance himself completely from the banning order imposed on the videos which he described as “talking head videos”. He thereby sought to exonerate himself from any charge that his “sexual orientation” had influenced his decision-making. He did this by disingenuously highlighting the fact that it was the Film and Literature Board of Review that had done the ‘dirty deed’ by imposing the banning order on the videos, not the Office of Film and Literature Classification that he now heads. While this is true, he failed to even hint at the fact that prior to his holding a position in the Office he had been Deputy President of the Board of Review.

Ms Hill was too astute to see through this deception and went straight for the jugular. She pointed out that Hastings had been on the Board that had actually issued the banning order. Hasting was caught out. Again he tried to distance himself from the ‘dirty deed’ by highlighting the fact that he was only one of nine members of the Board at the time and that the Society (SPCS) gives him too much credit to assert that he could have possibly influenced the banning order. Ms Hill ceased her probing at this point, beguiled perhaps by what appeared to be his self-deprecating comment, or just exasperated with Hastings’ lack of disclosure. While it is true there were nine members on the Board, headed by barrister Ms Sandra Moran, that issued the decision, Hastings never disclosed to Hill that he had written the decision.

In the Court of Appeal in Wellington on Thursday 18 November 2004, Mr John Oliver, senior Counsel for the Board of Review, stated clearly that the Board’s decision on the Living Word videos was written by Mr Hastings who at that time was Deputy President of the Board. The proceedings (Society v Board. Re: Baise-Moi) were recorded by a broadcaster in Court for the full-day hearing and can be verified.

In the latest Annual Report from the Classification Office, Mr Hastings has acknowledged that the Review Board he was on in 1997, acted outside its jurisdiction when it re-classified the two Living Word videos, because the applicant for review had filed their application outside the statutory time limit (on 17/2/97 see p. 16, footnote 14).

Why then would a Board grant special favours to an applicant under such circumstances? One only needs to examine the ‘credentials’ of the applicant to answer this question. The applicant was the Human Rights Action Group (Wellington), an openly “gay” lobby group, represented by a practising homosexual man, Mr Calum Bennachie of Wellington (formerly called Calum Sawyer) who funded all litigation using legal aid funds. This group whose members were never identified, first took the videos to the Chief Censor’s Office in 1996 and they were classified R18, having previously been “unrestricted” (and recommended for those over 16 years of age).

Unhappy with this ruling signed off by the then Chief Censor, the late Ms Kathryn Paterson, HRAG appealed to the Board for a re-classification. HRAG (=Calum Bennachie) was determined to get both videos banned. (The Society accepts HRAG’s right to have pursued this course in principle). However, even though HRAG’s application to the Board was well outside the statutory time limit, the Board allowed the review to proceed. The Board whose two senior members were both experienced lawyers, breached its jurisdiction. The Living Word case advanced on appeal, following the Board’s banning order, to the High Court, then to the Court of Appeal and then back to the Board. Nine months after the Court of Appeal directed the Board to reclassify them, the Board very reluctantly classified them “unrestricted” (the distributor had to threaten the Board with legal action in the High Court before it would issue its decision).

The Society’s problem with many of the decisions that have been issued by the Office under Mr Hastings’ leadership, is that the clear intention of parliament as embodied is the Classification Act, particularly section 3, is being ignored. In other words the law is not being applied properly to films that depict sexual violence, degrading sex acts, and extreme violence mixed with explicit sex etc. (“objectionable” content).

Mr Hastings has continued to use his Office’s Annual Report to lambast the unanimous Court of Appeal ruling on the Living Word videos which he strongly disagrees with, every year since its decision was issued. He has been a key figure along with Mr Calum Bennachie (HRAG) in ensuring that the Government Administration Committee, chaired by Labour MP Ms Dianne Yates, examines and considers “hate speech” legislation. This review is currently well underway.

If the videos can’t be banned under the Classification Act via the Chief Censor’s Office, the plan is to have them banned by Act of Parliament, nullifying the unanimous Court of Appeal decision. “Hate crime” is now defined by this PC-government to include any expression of opposition to the Civil Union Bill or Relationship Bill, or any criticism of “gay” lifestyle choice. There is ample evidence to prove this point and it will become more obvious to the discerning public as the Labour government’s social engineering juggernaut rolls on in a spirit of with “gay” abandon.

ENDS

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