English sucks jibe offends delicate ears


Take a chill pill is the Advertising Standards Authority's response to people who have complained about a television ad from the Māori Language Commission for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

The ad featured three comedians mixing English and Maori, until one of them says "English sucks."

One of the complainants said that the Maori language did not need to be promoted by insulting English, and another said it found the ad degrading and racist.

The commission says its intention was to overturn any excessive sense of "reverence" about Teori Maori and the idea that it should be spoken only by fully fluent specialists.

The joke was based on the idea that, even though it was Māori Language Week, an actor got confused and started promoting English.

The complaints board says that humor was used to convey the message and, even if some viewers did not understand the joke, they would still have realized that the ad should be funny.

The English sucks line was therefore acceptable in the general context of the advertisement.

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