Skit offensive to Tourette's sufferers

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proesstraat YouTube

Afrikaans pay-TV channel kykNET has been fined R30,000 for broadcasting a programme mimicking people suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA said on Tuesday.

“The tribunal held that the mimicry amounted to a serious impairment of the dignity of persons who suffer from Tourette's Syndrome, and that the comedic nature of the episode exacerbated the effect,” the commission said in its ruling.

The complaint was about two episodes of kykNET’s comedy show named “Proesstraat”, based on the German improvisational comedy show “Schillerstrasse”. It is recorded without a script, in front of a live audience.

On February 10 and March 10 actress Elize Cawood instructed two actors to pretend they were Tourette's Syndrome sufferers.

“Our conclusion... is that the dignity of people who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome is of substantially greater importance than the right to artistic freedom,” the BCCSA found.

“We are of the view that the impairment in the present case was serious.”

The tribunal said it had, in cases concerning a serious impairment of dignity, imposed relatively high fines of R25,000 and R30,000, up to a maximum of R60,000.

The BCCSA ruled that the channel pay the R30,000 fine by August 31. - Sapa


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