Transcript of Sean Plunkett’s Attack on All Deaf and Hard of Hearing New Zealanders – Totally Uncalled For.

We wish to express our disappointment at the treatment received by the chairperson of the NZ Captioning Working Group, Louise Carroll, during Sean Plunkett’s talkback RadioLIVE show on Friday morning.

Louise called in to the programme hosted by Sean Plunkett as they were discussing Human Rights. Take a look at the transcript below provided by a volunteer. We encourage you to read it through to the end.

Louise, on behalf of the many thousands of New Zealanders that need and benefit from captioning, THANK YOU, for your advocacy. To all reading this, please share this blog far and wide. Comment on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter as we advocate for captioning.


STARTS 01.02
<<(Announcer) This is live. (Sean) Oh yes it is indeed. Louise good morning to you.

(Louise) Good morning. I’m Louise. I’m the CEO of the National Foundation for the Deaf and I’m also on the International Federation for the Hard a Hearing Board globally and with Human Rights responsibilities. I live in Auckland. I’m Hard of Hearing and um I’ve got a lot of knowledge about the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities, and we have got this major issue with the lack of captioning on the Rugby World Cup Games

(Sean). Ooo

(Louise) For people like me so and under article 9 of the convention we have been, which NZ signed in 2008, we have been assured accessibility and there’s no captioning we can’t access the Rugby games Rugby World Cup

(Sean) Oh now Louise you’ve come right out of left field at me ah but this is interesting. I do think it’s interesting. Thank you for calling and raising this issue. How many people umm do have a hearing disability in New Zealand?

(Louise) Well the World Health Organisation the World Health Organisation says 1:6 people have some type of hearing loss and they estimate by 2050 it will be 1:4 so we’re looking at hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who want to use captioning. Some

(Sean) Ok so have you had hundreds and thousands of New Zealanders contact you beefing about this?

(Louise) We have hundreds contacting us yes.

(Sean) Hundreds? hundreds?

(Louise) Yeah probably more than hundreds when you think about it.

(Sean) OK

(Louise) And then the other thing is..

(Sean) And they’ve all contacted you and say and say

(Louise) In the last

(Sean) Louise can we just check they’ve all contacted you to complain about this

(Louise) Yes there’s a number of Facebook pages up running about it

(Sean) OK

(Louise) And yes Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand and the National Foundation for the Deaf we’ve all got blogs going about it and then I talked to the Prime Minister about it two days ago and Mojo Mathers raised it in the House yesterday

(Sean) Yeah

(Louise) and asking you know what’s going on ‘cos we had captioning in the last Rugby World Cup series when it was on um put on by TV New Zealand but its Sky TV that are not giving the such but in the UK

(Sean) Whoa, hang on, what would the captions be? because actually you can watch the TV with the Rugby off. You can watch the Rugby with the, sorry not the TV, Rugby with the sound off you can see they’ve got big numbers on their backs.

(Louise) No

(Sean) You can see what what’s happening

(Louise) yes. When you’re ah someone like me for instance I don’t actually understand who’s in what number but I listen and I understand what’s going on in the game by reading what’s going on.

(Sean) But why, look Louise why don’t you just, why don’t you learn what the positions are and whose in what position and why don’t you just learn what who wears what number on their back and you wouldn’t have to look. To be honest a lot of us turn the commentary off because its so rubbish.

(Louise) Yeah but you have the choice. We don’t.

(Sean) But, but really is this such a problem? As I say I don’t

(Louise) It’s a serious problem. It’s a really serious

(Sean talking over Louise) What that you don’t hear Grant Nisbett or like Tony Johnson flapping on, you don’t hear the inane sideline comments of people like Justin Marshall

(Louise) That’s the rugby world cup but in fact it’s across all television. Um we’ve got really low rates of captioning across all television so you know those recent Emmy Awards there was only one of the major programmes that was captioned. Most of them about 75 – 80% not captioned so its not just Rugby its right across everything. So in the UK its legislated and in um the US its legislated and the Broadcasters have to fund not taxpayers money and we’re saying taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for this in New Zealand. We’re saying that we need

(Sean) Shouldn’t be

(Louise) No they shouldn’t be it should be broadcasters who are paying for it out of like Sky TV and Television New Zealand that’s what’s going on internationally.

(Sean) They’re commercial organisations though eh?

(Louise) Mm, yes they are

(Sean) So why would you make them do something that might not be commercially viable?

(Louise) They actually want to have the access. Somebody doing an advert on for example um on a new product that’s come on the market

(Sean) Yeah but that’s up to them Louise

(Louise) If its not captioned then we’re not gonna know what it’s about and so the advertisers are not getting enough full value. I

(Sean) Well I’m sure the advertisers if they’re worried about it would pay for it Louise.

(Louise) and some of them are now.

(Sean) Louise you do have a hearing problem because you’re not actually engaging in a conversation.

(Louise) What was that?

(Sean) You do have a hearing problem ‘cos you’re not engaging in a conversation.

(Louise) Yes I do have a hearing problem you’re right.

(Sean) Yup
(Sean) Right, gotcha.
[Click, Sean hangs up on Louise]

(Sean) I’m not given that what Louise said I think we’d heard all we could from Louise and not really got a word in edgeways. Look I would hate to have a disability like that. Are hearing disabilities really such a big deal? Has really hundreds of people complained to Louise about this or is it just lets jump on the Rugby World Cup bandwagon to push our point and if it’s a commercial organisation does it have to provide captions? I’m sure if the advertisers were upset about that they would provide captions. I’m not being hard arse here I’m also saying its pretty simple to watch Rugby with the sound turned off and know what’s going on. Big letters on the back of those jerseys. Big letters.
Why not turn on the radio, I am sure there are radio commentaries somewhere and oh and no that doesn’t work does it? Bugger, umm oh a semaphore or something.
I dunno. Am I being mean? what do you think? Guys, give us a ring on 0800 844 747 um and I’d like to hear from you if you are one of those hundreds of people who did complain.

ENDS 07.12


Audio recordings found on RadioLIVE website
25 September 10.30 slot.

David Farrier Facebook & twitter

24 Comments Added

Join Discussion
  1. Robyn September 29, 2015 | Reply
    The biggest problem here is those that want captions are Deaf and/or hard of hearing, and aren't likely to use the phone to ring a radio caption. Get Real!
  2. ash September 29, 2015 | Reply
    Huh I'm deaf and I can't ring you. You are so stupid. In aussie, usa, uk they have full captioned TV and no is like 20% that captions maybe more or less. Lots of them I love watch it but not understand it. I would love to have full captions. Why not you all turn sound off and watch TV. See how long u can do that.
  3. Ruby September 29, 2015 | Reply
    Sean you are so ignorant, you seemingly do not have any awareness of what barriers we face, not having full access like our hearing peers! We are not just talking about the Rugby, we are also talking about movies, dvd, television, sky, Netflix, tvnzondemand, educational dvds and more. Why don't you turn the sound off and see how long you can last with no sound. Also I'm Deaf. How are you expecting us to call the radio station? Get off your high horse, you are so arrogant about the Deaf and Hard of hearing. One day maybe as you get older you may lose your hearing, be interesting what you'll say then!!
  4. Natasha September 29, 2015 | Reply
    Shame on Sean Plunkett!!! I am a hearing person and am disgusted that you belittled a person with a disability. Grow up and act like a man, not a child. It is not okay to laugh at someone with a disability. As hearing people we have a choice of whether or not to listen to the commentary on the rugby, why should a hard of hearing or Deaf persons rights be any less? They shouldn't and New Zealand needs to catch up to the rest of the developed world and supply captioning. In Australia it is expected that the majority of programs will be broadcast with captions. We need to catch up!
  5. Shaun September 29, 2015 | Reply
    WOW! It makes my blood boil!!! We are working very hard to provide service with 100 percent captioning for Australia and New Zealand. Success is the sweetest revenge!!!
  6. Kate September 29, 2015 | Reply
    Having just read the transcript of your conversation with Louise, Sean Plunkett, I am disappointed. It seems to me that you were very rude in the way you talked down to Louise and then put the phone down on her. I repeat what Natasha has said - shame on you, Sean Plunkett.
  7. Julie September 30, 2015 | Reply
    Seanm you dumb wanker
  8. alexbrod September 30, 2015 | Reply
    Sorry to say this, what a dumbasshole. Perhaps someone should force him to live as a deaf person so he gets to experience the obstacles. Is that guy for real?!
  9. Sandy September 30, 2015 | Reply
    To be deaf is something hundreds and thousands have to live with. Deaf signing is one of our recognized languages. Sean should have listens to what was being said and not laughing of a problem that effects so many NZ'S. Shame on you Sean.
  10. Jendi September 30, 2015 | Reply
    Your a fucking Wanka
  11. Sara September 30, 2015 | Reply
    Being a hearing child with both a profoundly deaf dad and a hearing impaired mother, and also on behalf of the deaf communities of Australia... You Sean are a fucking ignorant wanker. I hope your hearing dimishes as you age so that you can really answer your own ridiculous and narrow minded questions regarding the needs of the deaf community. There's nothing worse in life than feeling excluded. It's lonely. Cocky arsehole!
  12. Carolyne Moran October 1, 2015 | Reply
    I am astounded by this comment. We have a beautiful 30 year old daughter who was born profoundly deaf, she has made a very successful life for herself despite her disability, you don't seem to understand the challenges they face. I would have thought you would have been more enlightened in this day and age, instead you are an ignorant rude oaf, tittering away full of your own self importance with an over inflated ego. What a stupid man you are. Truely offensive.
  13. gaye lyons October 1, 2015 | Reply
    What a pick. ..have you heard of the Relay Service that enables deaf people like me to make a phone call ? ? That's probably how she made the call...wander all over!
  14. gaye lyons October 1, 2015 | Reply
    What a prick. ..have you heard of the Relay Service that enables deaf people like me to make a phone call ? ? That's probably how she made the call...wanker all over!
  15. Fred October 1, 2015 | Reply
    shame on you Sean, grow up!
  16. Carolyne Moran October 1, 2015 | Reply
    Probably not getting any stick about this because "duh" deaf people don't listen to the radio, fortunately they are not subjected to this self indulgent ignorant fool, turn him off I say!! Written apology from him, I hope he gets our comments
  17. Robyn October 1, 2015 | Reply
    Sean, what a prick! I would put you in a box with no sound at all & see how long you last in a silent world with NO ACCESS to sounds & captioned TV/movie for a week! Get your fucking ass out & apologise to Louise & the deaf community for your pathetic comments & for being so arrogant person. Hope you get deaf by now! Who gives a rat about you if you were diagnosed as deaf!! Pathetic!!
  18. Nelia October 3, 2015 | Reply
    I still cannot believe that anyone can be so rude and oblivious to the needs and struggles of the Deaf and HoH community. I'm South African and the news of this has already reached us. And I am shocked that anyone can be so ignorant and rude... Yes Sean, now not only hundreds of people in NZ know about your ignorance... But THOUSANDS across the world do.
  19. Moira October 5, 2015 | Reply
    Is there a move to complain to broadcasting standards authority about this unforgivably rude encounter?
    • Robyn October 5, 2015 | Reply
      We first have to complain to Mediaworks, then if it doesn't get addressed properly, a move to the BSA is the next step. Feel free to put in your own complaint!
  20. Pingback: I'm signing the Captioning Petition Because.... | We Need Words November 3, 2015

    […] • It will make it easy for people to enjoy what those with no hearing issues take for granted. […]

  21. Susan Bat December 18, 2015 | Reply
    Not only am I hard of hearing from birth, but this Sean guy has left me speechless. I can only think that his life is fairly empty if this is what he gets off on, unlike many of us who actually have to fight for what is important for us, our families, and the greater good.
  22. Kathy Gallup December 18, 2015 | Reply
    I support captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing,I don't understand why it isn't done everywhere.
  23. Emily January 27, 2016 | Reply
    Wow. I'm pretty much fuming just reading that.

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