New Zealand Top Model Mudbath Shots Deemed 'Inoffensive'
New Zealand's Next Top Model Mudbath Shots 'Inoffensive': BSA
The New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority has ruled that an episode of New Zealand's Next Top Model, which featured contestants, including 16-year-old Michaela Steenkamp, posing topless in a steaming mudbath, were not offensive.
In dismissing complaints against the program, the BSA determined that the photos of the young models were not explicitly sexual. While the BSA said that the steam from the mudbath prevented any explicit nudity, the original photo of Michaela Steenkamp was 'shopped to add more steam after viewers complained.
"The models are free at any time to opt out of any situation with which they feel uncomfortable, so far this has not been the case."
The BSA ruled the nudity was effectively masked by the mud and did not breach standards of good taste and decency.
In its decision, the BS made a distinction between TVNZ's web content and broadcast content, in that web content had to be actively sought out.
The complainant had missed the 20-working day deadline for making a complaint about the original broadcast of the television, but argued as the item was still available on the broadcaster's website, his complaint still fell within the timeframe.
TVNZ argued the availability of the item on its website was not "broadcasting" as defined by the Broadcasting Act and therefore the BSA had no jurisdiction to consider it