Wayde Moore is being edited out of Fboy Island NZ. Photo / Supplied
The network behind FBoy Island says contestants are asked if anything in their background could have adverse consequences for the show, production company or network, yet the man previously charged with suffocating a woman did not reveal it.
Last week TVNZ learned contestant Wayde Moore, 26, had appeared in court last year charged with suffocating a woman. He admitted to police he lured her to his home because she was drunk and he hoped to have sex with her.
Moore then covered her mouth and nose to keep her quiet when she called for help. He was found not guilty of the charge of suffocation.
A spokesperson for TVNZ said contestants consent to a Ministry of Justice check and have to confirm they have no open warrants, charges or convictions.
TVNZ said contestants are also asked if there is anything in their background that could have “adverse consequences”.
Moore earlier told the Herald he did not mention the case to the production company, Warner Bros, because he had not been convicted. His criminal record check produced a clean slate.
“It was something that was dealt with and was over. I thought there was no need to mention it to Warner Bros or to anyone.”
Ministry of Justice criminal record documents list any disclosable criminal and traffic convictions, but do not include pending charges that haven’t gone to court yet, infringements and charges people were not convicted of.
The TVNZ spokesperson said Ministry of Justice checks on all contestants were done by Warner Bros, as is standard procedure for content of this nature commissioned by TVNZ.
They said contestants also undergo a psychological assessment.
“Appropriate and applicable checks that would be expected in this situation were carried out.
“Given Privacy Act implications, which could also reveal other individuals’ information, legal advice we have received suggests we would not be eligible to use the Police Vetting Service.”
A police check can cover a person’s conviction history and information on any contact they have had with the police. They are often used for people working with children.
Public relations consultant Ben Thomas questioned why this situation had arisen despite a similar incident occurring with another reality show, from a different broadcaster, just a few years ago.
In 2019 a Married at First Sight “bride” was paired with a man charged with domestic violence.
Thomas questioned whether adequate due diligence was being done, especially given the programme’s premise.
The term F Boy is slang for “f*** boy”, a term for men who never intend a sexual encounter to involve a relationship or act as if entitled to sexual encounters.
“They should be particularly sort of attuned to the discourse that’s happening around that, which is that does blur the line between bad behaviour and abuse,” Thomas said.
“Because questions like that will inevitably come up, you know, just because of the very concept of it.”
On Monday TVNZ announced the show would still be launching on October 12 but Moore would be edited out.
“Following conversations with all parties, we have decided it is in the best interests of all involved to remove him as a contestant from the show and promotion,” a spokesperson said.
The young woman, who was 19 at the time, told the Herald she was happy TVNZ listened and was removing him.
“He does not deserve to be publicly positively put out there.”
Moore was found not guilty of suffocation but copped a broadside from district court judge Noel Sainsbury who said his behaviour in targeting a drunk and vulnerable woman was “deeply inappropriate and disrespectful”.
Judge Sainsbury said the 2018 law required it be proved that Moore intended to restrict the woman’s breathing. Court documents show he testified he had covered her mouth and nose to keep her quiet. He faced no other charges.
Moore previously told the Herald he was upset at the time because his parents were separating, he had lost his job because of Covid-19 and was “really drunk” that day.
“I was needing someone because I was emotionally unstable at the time.”
Moore said the experience motivated him to go on the show.
“I was going on there to show people can be better and this is me trying to be better.”
He rejected claims he had tried to suffocate the woman, saying he was trying to keep her quiet.
SEXUAL HARM – DO YOU NEED HELP?
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact the Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline on:
• Text 4334 and they will respond
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Visit https://safetotalk.nz/contact-us/ for an online chat
Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.
If you have been abused, remember it’s not your fault.