by Catherine Delahunty
Today, December 3, is International Day for the Rights of People with Disabilities.
TVNZ might be at risk of becoming blasé about complaints to the Human Rights Commission. After all, it is becoming a regular occurrence thanks to their ongoing support for Paul Henry’s barking and dog whistling.
Henry is willing to incite prejudice and contempt for women who are not Barbie and people with intellectual impairments. TVNZ could solve the problem by sacking Henry or requiring him to show some respect for people different from himself and the stereotypes he loves to foster.
His comments are not in private, they are on prime time television and they hurt people. They may also be in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities Article 17 which says:
Every person with disabilities has a right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity on a equal basis with others.
TVNZ is supposedly one of our public broadcasters and they should be leading the implementation of the Convention, but they seem impervious, so long as abuse creates an audience.