Following serious allegations emerging online, episode two of New Zealand Today has been removed from ThreeNow along with all relevant clips.
Mediaworks have removed episode two of Guy Williams’ comedy series New Zealand Today from its streaming platform ThreeNow after being informed of recent allegations involving a person briefly featured in the episode. All content relating to the episode, including a clip which was trending at #1 on New Zealand Youtube and had over 500,000 views, has also been taken down.
The allegations were first raised directly with MediaWorks, who immediately took steps to remove the episode, before surfacing online last week. They detail a serious crime of a sexual nature, which The Spinoff understands was also filmed and uploaded to the Pornhub website. The Spinoff has been unable to verify the claims, but a spokesperson from Mediaworks confirmed that the allegations were serious enough for them to take immediate action.
“Once we were made aware of what was being alleged, we removed episode two of New Zealand Today from all platforms,” a spokesperson said.
The NZ on Air-funded series, airing at 9.45 on a Friday night, follows “volunteer journalist” Williams as he travels the country to meet infamous New Zealanders who have made headlines. Episode two, which aired on August 30, saw Williams head to Gisborne to meet Mongrel Mob member Coey Irwin, one of the founders of hugely popular Facebook group, Heil’s Kitchen.
Irwin, who features heavily in the episode and is not the subject of the allegations, explained the genesis of the 100,000-strong healthy eating group. “Fry your food not yourself,” he said, “because I was that guy that fried himself once upon a time and lost everything.” The pair then deliver clothing and food to the homeless, concluding with parody cooking show Coey’s Kitchen.
The episode, which later featured a seance in Marton, has been removed from ThreeNow and the segments taken down from Three’s social media channels. A duplicate clip of the Mongrel Mob segment, uploaded on September 5, has over 100,000 views, with many users in the comments questioning why the original clip from the Jono and Ben channel has been removed.
This is the second time in a month that Mediaworks has been forced to remove content based on serious allegations surfacing. On August 29, Stuff revealed that Married at First Sight NZ groom Chris Mansfield had an outstanding domestic violence charge in the United States. The woman who he is alleged to have assaulted told the Herald that he strangled her while she was pregnant.
A spokesperson from MediaWorks said that they were “shocked” by the allegations at the time. “We can confirm that prior to commencing filming, every participant is subject to a New Zealand criminal record check, participates in a psychiatric assessment and must have been deemed by a professional psychologist to be fit to participate in the format.”
As a result, Mediaworks made the unprecedented decision to edit Chris Mansfield’s storyline out of the 2019 series entirely.
Pornhub has been approached for comment regarding the removal of the original clip, and NZ on Air regarding the removal of the episode. Host Guy Williams declined to comment. New Zealand Today continues to air on Three at 9.45pm on Friday nights, and is available to watch on ThreeNow.