Case Number: 3373

Council Meeting: FEBRUARY 2023

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Newshub TV3

Principle: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
Discrimination and Diversity

Ruling Categories: Nudity and Indecency
Social Media


 Newshub published a story on its website on 13 January 2023 headed Men with sports cars overcompensating for something, study confirms in fallout of Tate-Thunberg feud. It covered environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s suggestion that social media influencer Andrew Tate’s love of flash cars may be a form of overcompensation for the size of his penis. The story reported that there may be some truth to this, quoting a study that suggested a correlation between owning an ostentatious car and having a smaller-than-average penis.

 Zane Cozens complained about the story, saying it was a trashy piece that breached Principle 7: Discrimination and Diversity, which states: Issues of gender, religion, minority groups, sexual orientation, age, race, colour or physical or mental disability are legitimate subjects for discussion where they are relevant and in the public interest, and publications may report and express opinions in these areas. Publications should not, however, place gratuitous emphasis on any such category in their reporting.

 Mr Cozens complained that in a world where people refrained from making cheap comments about women’s bodies, Newshub had seen fit to print a story that attacked men. Although Newshub might think it was light summer reading, it was sexist trash that belittled people for the sake of generating click-throughs, he said.

 Newshub replied that the story was based on a legitimate piece of research, and did not place gratuitous emphasis on men or incite hate speech towards them.

 While the Media Council has some sympathy with Mr Cozens’ view that this is a trashy piece, it believes readers are unlikely to take it particularly seriously and Newshub’s editors have the discretion to decide whether to publish it or not. The story was based on academic research and there is no inaccuracy proven. The Media Council does not believe the threshold of discrimination against men as set out in Principle 7 was reached. No principles have been breached.

 Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.


Lodge a new Complaint.



Search for previous Rulings.

New Zealand Media Council

© 2023 New Zealand Media Council.
Website development by Fueldesign.

Reach Us

NZ Media Council
79 boulcott street
Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

PO Box 10 879,
Wellington, 6143