Decision to not uphold 'Jew' slur about All Black slammed by Jewish Council

All Black Jack Goodhue was called a "Jew" during a SKY Sport programme.
Daniel Tobin
All Black Jack Goodhue was called a "Jew" during a SKY Sport programme.

The Jewish Council has slammed the broadcasting watchdog's decision not to uphold a complaint over an All Black being labelled a "Jew" on a sports programme.

Instead, the Broadcasting Standards Authority cautioned broadcasters, saying they should avoid language that amounted to casual racism.

In the SKY Sports show Kick-off broadcasted on June 13, the decision said guest and rugby player Bryn Hall gave out a "red card" to All Black Jack Goodhue for his mullet.

The slur was made in relation to All Black Jack Goodhue having a mullet.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
The slur was made in relation to All Black Jack Goodhue having a mullet.

Hall went on to say: "The real reason why he's running a mullet at the moment is that he's engaged ... [he] doesn't want to pay for his wedding, so he's actually looking for Women's Day or Women's Weekly to try and get behind and pay for his wedding, so red card for being a Jew, Jack, so there you go mate".

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The person who complained to the BSA said the slur breached the discrimination and denigration standard.

But the BSA dismissed the complaint, saying the comment did not contain the level of "nastiness or malice" needed to breach the standard.

Jewish Council spokeswoman Juliet Moses said the decision was "extremely disappointing and quite shocking".

Moses said she knew nothing of the complaint prior to the decision being released on Tuesday, and said it would not have hurt the authority to contact the council about it.

NZ Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses slammed the authority's decision not to uphold the complaint.
SUPPLIED
NZ Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses slammed the authority's decision not to uphold the complaint.

She said being labelled a "Jew" was a stereotype that had caused a lot of harm to Jewish people for centuries.

If New Zealanders had learnt anything this year with the March terrorist attack, it was the danger of stereotypes, she said.

"It is unacceptable that the broadcaster should not be [held] accountable for saying such a thing," Moses said.

It was a "surprisingly high" threshold the BSA had applied here, she said.

Despite not upholding the complaint, the authority said it was concerned about the use of the word "Jew" as a slur, whether it is intended in a "light-hearted manner" or otherwise.

"It is an example of casual anti-Semitism and such comments can contribute to the normalisation of racism," it said.

"There is no room in New Zealand for casual racism and it is important that we all work hard to move away from this type of language."

The BSA said SKY Sport apologised for any distress caused and spoke to the guest to prevent any similar comments being made in future.

Stuff