John Oliver lobbed harsh criticism towards Dick Wolf on Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” arguing the producer’s long-running TV sequence “Law & Order” was extra desirous about mythologizing the prison justice system than declaring its corruption.
Oliver mentioned the sequence “makes quite a lot of selections that considerably distort the large image of police,” like utilizing an limitless 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.
“One more reason that now we have so many wealthy, white perps is that there aren’t any wealthy, white man strain teams,” Wolf told The Baltimore Sun in 2003. “You are able to do something you wish to wealthy, white guys, and no one cares. Actually.”
Oliver mentioned “Regulation & Order” basically 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 truthful framework that principally 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 have 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 truth of policing in a significant manner.” Wolf himself beforehand admitted he was “unabashedly pro-law enforcement,” as Oliver confirmed in a clip.
He additionally confirmed an interview by 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 have been charged for his or her roles within the assault, and two have been despatched to jail, with the precept assailant sentenced to 30 years. (The opposite three officers had their convictions reversed attributable to 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 dangerous apples in a police power of 35,000.”
Oliver mentioned Wolf had a “shut, behind-the-scenes relationship with the NYPD,” which distorted public notion of the group.
“One examine discovered ‘viewers of crime dramas usually tend to consider the police are profitable at decreasing crime, use power solely when vital, and that misconduct doesn’t sometimes result in false confessions,’” mentioned Oliver. “Which might be nice if it have been true.”
See extra from Sunday’s “Final Week Tonight” beneath.