To the Manager, Horizon Pacific.
The decision of Bays TV not to broadcast Express Report, has caused widespread criticism and on the half-hour gay programme Gaytime FM for Sunday February 11, opprotunity was given for listeners to phone in and express their concerns. Over a dozen calls were received, all from the Nelson/Richmond area, with only one caller identifying as lesbian/gay.
The comments that were received ranged from extreme disappointment to outrage, with most feeling that this was a decision based on bigotry and prejudice. It seems painfully clear that the management of Bays TV did not lear the lesson of Southern Television and that it made its decision on some restricted criteria. In his original statement to Spectrum, Bays TV manager, Mr R. Hansel stated that his decision was because his target audience was "the family" and that therefore Express Report was an inappropriate programme. This despite the fact that Report goes to air at 10pm.
It is clear that Mr. hansel has taken the view that thhis programme will be of interest to only the les/bi/gay section of our community and that firstly, they will be only a small part of the audience and that other vieweres will litereally turn off. Mr Hansel needs to venture into the late 20th century and realise that our communities are made up of a lot of minority groups, and that interest in those groups is not confined to their members.
One would have hoped with the present social conditions prevailing that by now people holding responsible jobs in mainstream media would recognise this diversity and cater for their needs, a process which by its nature would also educate other members of our community.
Like most of the callers from the phone-in I find censorship forced on a viewing public resulting from som arbitary decision quite repugnant.
It is hoped that the publicity resulting form this decision, will cause Mr Hansel like his Southern counterpart, to reverse it.