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Paul Henry is at it again offending people. Yes, it is tiring. Yes, it shows how he really is a one trick pony. But what has riled me up more than a cynical know-it-all-but-really-knows-nothing presenter deliberately stirring up trouble has been the excuses given to put up with this monkey’s shit slinging.

John Key dismissed him as just “a shock jock” and didn’t bring the man to task on national television when Henry said to his face that the Governor-General did not look like a New Zealander.

This is partly because John Key is not that good when he can’t play the smiley nice guy persona he uses. No doubt he internally regretted being next to Henry at that moment, but simply hoped to dismiss the matter before it became political.

Unfortunately for John, it went political pretty damn quickly and has made him look like a bit of a tit in the process.

What annoys me is that John Key seems to think that being a shock jock means that Paul Henry can say whatever hateful or offensive thing he likes and there will be no consequences because people, in old NZ fashion, will simply say “oh, Paul, there you go again.” I’m sure that if John Key was little more down with the yoof he’d probably add a “LOLZ” to that too.

The thing is, being a shock jock should not exempt you from saying such boneheaded and hateful things. Shock Jocks don’t say these things just to get ratings, they have a political agenda. They stir shit because they want change. They want less foreign NZers or more porn on telly or whatever. They say these things to get a change. Sure, they exaggerate, but there is usually something more to it than just publicity.

What further annoyed me, though, was the equally boneheaded defence from TVNZ.

“The audience tell us over and over again that one of the things they love about Paul Henry is that he’s prepared to say the things we quietly think but are scared to say out loud.”

Wait. So most NZers think that the Governor-General doesn’t look like a NZer and the implication that to look like an NZer one must not be Indian in appearance.

Or maybe the reason so many NZers are scared to ask is because they know the question is wrong? Funny how the questions we are apparently afraid to ask involve minorities, insulting someone’s appearance, implying a person is a lesbian or ugly, implying that not being a White middle class man is a crime…

That is a shit excuse. Sure, Paul Henry can ask the questions, but he should reap the results. Not just get dismissed because he is a shock jock. The man is clueless. He may be a very intelligent guy, but he is not wise and lacks the ability to think about anything other than Paul Henry.

NZers who side with him are fooling themselves if they think he is standing up for the common NZer. Listen to him, all his views and ideals are about his own personal benefit. Nothing more.

Paul Henry is a blight on our TV screens. He doesn’t encourage challenging debate, he just encourages debate about whether this is finally the time for TVNZ to boot his ultra-conservative, anti-New Zealand ass to the curb. Make no mistake people, Paul Henry is the guy who doesn’t talk like a New Zealander. His views are outdated, ill-informed and toxic to this country and it’s media.

Conan

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As the NZ Actors Equity/Hobbit dispute continues, Phillipa Boyens, co-producer and co-writer has kind of implied a conspiracy by MEAA to try and get the films moved to Australia.

It is interesting that MEAA in Australia were the ones who seem to have instigated this drama and now that Warner is reviewing the numbers, Aussie is up with a big nice juicy offer to attract the films away from NZ.

Much like others have said, the damage has been done. Regardless of whether this was MEAA’s intention or not, NZ’s film industry has been dragged through the mud, all because of how poorly Actors Equity handled this problem.

I hate to be negative, but my gut tells me that it is too late to save the Hobbit films. They will now be going off shore, because this has been dragged along too long now. I hope to be proven wrong.

In their naïveté, Actors Equity foolishly believed that they had leverage and that Warner were only bluffing. I’m not sure it is an actor thing – many of NZAE’s senior members have been producers – they should have known that there was no bluff.

In my experience a producer rarely has the luxury to bluff. You need to get your project moving and out there before it is dated or the hype dies down. This means that any delay requires a backup plan, you simply can’t afford to be farting around for months if you can get things moving again.

I had no doubt that if Warner and SPJ were saying the films may have to go offshore, they were already looking around and preparing to replan their budget.

I honestly don’t understand how NZAE or MEAA seriously thought this was a bluff.

I wonder if Actors Equity genuinely thought that without their actors, films cannot be made. The reality is that while you need actors for a film, there are a LOT of people who want to be actors and if you’re paying – they will show up.

Which isn’t to lessen the importance of finding talented actors, but to stress that NZAE can’t afford to be precious. It is a tough gig being an actor, but this saga is going to make things that much tougher for actors, not better.

It just astonishes me how silly NZAE is looking and how foolish they are for putting the local industry into this situation.

Conan

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