Thursday, August 03, 2006

Outright discrimination

I don't watch New Zealand Idol, but I'm appalled by their decision to dump a contestant from the show because she was pregnant. As Maia points out, it's a grossly paternalistic intrusion into a decision which is really none of the producer's business, predicated on the idea that they know better than the woman herself what is good for her and her (eventual) child. But it is also simply outright discrimination. "Sex, which includes pregnancy and childbirth", is the very first item on the Human Rights Act's list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, and the main upshot is that you can't fire someone because they are pregnant. I'm not sure whether Ms Patea would be able to take South Pacific Pictures to the HRC over it (they might be considered an employer under the Act, as they benefit from her unpaid work, but it would be dicey), but I'd encourage her to try - this sort of shit simply cannot be tolerated, whether from a traditional employer or a TV show like "New Zealand Idol".


I agree. Women face work related discrimination due to pregnancy and it sucks.

Posted by muerk : 8/03/2006 06:02:00 PM

Places like NZ idol put people in certain sorts of situations.
For example it would probably be unwise for a person with a severe immune deficiency disorder to been NZ idol and to change NZ idol to accommodate them would be to basically destroy it. So presumably there are at least some cases where people should be excluded.

I don’t know about pregnancy but if a doctor said it was a problem then maybe they have a point (of course it should be a doctor not just a company exec). NZ idol would probably be in al lot of trouble if it caused a miscarriage in the woman.

Posted by Genius : 8/03/2006 06:23:00 PM

why the hell not? its in the record companies best interest to make sure that the resulting idol is able-bodied and fit to carry out the role of idol (and make money). the contestant should also have known this and she was pretty stupid to go onto the show if shes pregnant anyway-considering you can't enter the competition if you have a terminal disease. muerk-surely thats discrimination too! cancer patients suffer huge discrimination which also suck. blah blah blah...

being pregnant is more than just been knocked up, its a responsibility that woman have to make sure the child is healthy. discrimination against woman in work places is more than just the company/work place looking after the child and having a firm understanding that pregnant women need to take it easy-they're carrying an extra peson. makes sense.

if shes pregnant now and she winds, how is she supposed to tour the coutnry and do all the hoo-ha that surrounds the idol winner? she couldnt. and thats why she was dropped.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/05/2006 02:54:00 PM

Funny, my mother was digging fencepost s, straining wires and building gates on the farm until three days before she bore me, and was doing the same again three days after, with me on her back. It's not that all pregnant women need to take it easy, but that the individuals level of fitness, and the state and complications of the pregnancy, need to be taken to account before attempting any given activity. If, for instance, this constestant is/was as fit as my mother was back in the seventies, she could probably complete most of the tasks in Idol with ease. However, if she's your typical sedentary city type, then maybe not. I think perhaps the Idol people would have been better to consult with all concerned, rather than being unilateral.

Posted by Weekend_Viking : 8/05/2006 07:35:00 PM

From memory "insurance risk" can be used to hide a range of behaviours which would usually be considered discrimination. So the producers may argue that they don't have indemnity to cover any miscarriage or risk to the foetus or baby. IMHO this has been a loophole for some time which companies have been getting better at exploiting.

The good news is that the HRC is about to release (in the next week or two - tho it has already been delayed for a month and a half) a consultation document as part of a review of the insurance guidelines.

The original press release is here:

Posted by Anita : 8/07/2006 11:23:00 AM