John Oliver lobbed harsh criticism in opposition to Dick Wolf on Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” arguing the producer’s long-running TV sequence “Law & Order” was extra curious about mythologizing the legal justice system than mentioning its corruption.
Oliver mentioned the sequence “makes lots of selections that considerably distort the massive image of police,” like utilizing an countless roster of wealthy white characters the police can abuse with out repercussions. He argued this stealthily normalized police brutality, and famous it was an intentional resolution by Wolf.
“Another excuse that we have now so many wealthy, white perps is that there are not any wealthy, white man stress teams,” Wolf told The Baltimore Sun in 2003. “You are able to do something you wish to wealthy, white guys, and no person cares. Actually.”
Oliver mentioned “Regulation & Order” primarily served as propaganda for the police as a result of “as a substitute of depicting a flawed system riddled with structural racism, the present presents exceptionally competent cops working inside a largely honest framework that largely convicts white folks.”
He cited a May 2021 study from Mass Mediated Representations of Crime and Criminality, which concluded that the present’s fictional “offenders had been disproportionally White, male, older, and from the center or upper-classes.”
Oliver mentioned the sequence is “by no means going to grapple with the fact of policing in a significant means.” Wolf himself beforehand admitted he was “unabashedly pro-law enforcement,” as Oliver confirmed in a clip.
He additionally confirmed an interview through which Wolf mentioned he didn’t wish to use his present to “do Abner Louima,” referring to a Black man who NYPD officers beat and sodomized in 1997. Louima suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for 2 months. 5 officers had been charged for his or her roles within the assault, and two had been despatched to jail, with the precept assailant sentenced to 30 years. (The opposite three officers had their convictions reversed as a consequence of inadequate proof). Louima acquired an $8.75 million settlement from the town for the assault.
Wolf dismissed the assault on account of “one or two unhealthy apples in a police drive of 35,000.”
Oliver mentioned Wolf had a “shut, behind-the-scenes relationship with the NYPD,” which distorted public notion of the group.
“One research discovered ‘viewers of crime dramas usually tend to consider the police are profitable at decreasing crime, use drive solely when crucial, and that misconduct doesn’t sometimes result in false confessions,’” mentioned Oliver. “Which might be nice if it had been true.”
See extra from Sunday’s “Final Week Tonight” beneath.