TVNZ have responded to a petition with over 10,000 signatories and ditched plans to screen a controversial British reality TV show in which participants had sex during the programme.
Sex Box, a Channel Four show in which couples have sex inside a screened box before a studio audience then step out to discuss the experience, was due to air on TV2 next month.
But the network confirmed today they had dropped it from schedules.
“The series was initially considered to form a part of our July line-up but given the feedback we’ve taken the time to re-look at it,” said a spokesman. “On reflection, we agree it is not the right fit for inclusion in the TV2 schedule.”
“We typically get a range of viewer opinions expressed about our on-air and online content. Not everyone will agree with every decision we make but we do listen,” the spokesperson added.
TVNZ said that they were “responding to the feedback” the network had received about the show, and agreed that after “taking a closer look at Sex Box” the show was not “the right fit” for the public broadcaster.
An online petition launched by petitioner Ann-Maree Quinn to see TV2 axe the show launched on community website CitizenGo in early June, and has since garnered 10,184 signatories, with a goal to eventually reach 20,000.
The show sounded terrible and exploitative. Just like almost every other reality TV show.
But they purchased the rights to it, and have decided not to show it because of an online petition. That is the wrong decision.
We have scores of channels people can watch. If people didn’t want to see it, they can choose another channel. Instead we have censorship via petition.
“Yet another bizarre reality TV show to occupy our screens, but this one is particularly troubling on a number of levels,” the petition read.
“It is not prudish to object to Sex Box. Some things ought not to be for sale, ought not to be promoted with evocative storylines, solely to grow viewership,” Quinn continued.
“Some things simply require a level of good taste and decency. Sexual intimacy is not just a recreational activity to be viewed, scored and analysed in such a public setting,”
Quinn’s anti-Sex Box petition deemed the series “a new low” in our “flash in the pan, celebrity-seeking culture.”
Quinn, who is currently based in Australia, said the purpose behind starting her petition was to “maintain high community standards on public TV.”
So a petition stated by someone not even in New Zealand gets TVNZ to change their broadcasting decisions.