British comedian John Oliver is coming under fire after he spent almost the entirety of his HBO half-hour weekly satire show devoted to criticizing the police procedural Law & Order and its various franchises.
Oliver normally devotes his time to focus on a subject worthy of deep dive thought to be of genuine interest and importance such as rising inflation, the war in Ukraine or Monkeypox, to cite some recent examples.
But Sunday night’s show saw the 45-year-old examining the ‘pro-police’ angle and how the NYPD are portrayed on the popular NBC drama.
It led to Oliver essentially coming to the conclusion that Law & Order’s executive producer Dick Wolf had far-too-close relationship with officials in law enforcement, despite the show stressing on each episode that the storylines are entirely fictional.
British comedian John Oliver is coming under fire after he spent almost the entirety of his HBO half-hour weekly satire show devoted to criticizing the police procedural Law & Order and its various franchises
Nevertheless, Oliver excoriated the long-running franchise for consistently painting the police officers working to apprehend criminal sex offenders as the ‘good guys.’
Oliver told his audience that Dick Wolf, the famed executive producer and father of the franchise, keeps a ‘close, behind-the scenes relationship with the NYPD, employing officers as consultants and boasting about the access he had.’
‘Law & Order is never going to grapple with the reality of policing in a meaningful way. Because fundamentally, the person who is responsible for Law & Order and its brand is Dick Wolf, and he knows exactly what he wants his shows to do and, importantly, not to do,’ said Oliver.
He also argued that Wolf knows viewers of the show would not be pleased with the police force if they were portrayed pursuing offenders of color, which is why the bad guys on the show are so frequently old, white men.
Oliver insists that the show will never going to ‘grapple with the reality of policing in a meaningful way.’
Journalist Ben Dreyfuss hints that John Oliver’s Law & Order takedown may have been a tad overzealous
Oliver spent Sunday evening’s episode of Last Week Tonight criticizing the long-running TV-crime drama Law & Order for its positive portrayal of police officers
Online audiences were quick to criticize Oliver’s crusade against Law & Order and the police department
Some were unimpressed with the leftist slant of Oliver’s argument
Criticism of Oliver’s leftist take on the extremely popular show arrived thick and fast and included some personal insults directed towards the comedian together with condemnation of his anti-police stance.
Journalist, actor and Twitter personality Ben Dreyfuss said of the pointed tirade: ‘The writers of the John Oliver show are really running out of things to ‘destroy.’ Why aren’t the protagonists of the TV show more incompetent and corrupt?” Dreyfuss wrote, poking fun at Oliver’s criticism.
‘I mean Law & Order has only made one TV movie and the killer in that movie is one of the detectives who had been a supporting character on the show for like 5 years.’
Another user defended Wolf’s portrayal of the police stating: ‘I’d rather glorify cops than glorify criminals…’
A third argued that the NYPD ‘should be glorified. They are the only ones keeping the city from descending into utter chaos, When you get mugged late at night you don’t call John Oliver,’ they added.
‘I want to know what area John lives in… Hmmm. for some reason I think there are plenty of police officers around that he would call in the blink of an eye. These guys, like Oliver, get these jobs only because they are leftists. It really is that simple. A fraud,’ wrote Twitter user Robert Macron, miffed at Oliver’s predictably woke stance on the issue.
Dick Wolf, 75, is the executive producer of Law & Order, which premiered in 1990 and is still on air today
One user felt strongly enough about Oliver’s anti-Law & Order, anti-police argument that he promoted the idea of deporting Oliver
Other users recognized that in a moment when crime is on the rise, police should be especially valued regardless of one’s political affiliation
One user slammed Oliver for voicing criticism of the U.S. television and law enforcement landscape while there are significant issues afoot in his home country
Oliver is said to live comfortably with his wife and two children in a $10 million four-bedroom penthouse on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, an area widely considered to be one of the safest in New York City.
Some observers of the piece disagreed with the substance of Oliver’s argument on account of the rising crime levels in New York City, and most cities across the U.S.
‘With rising crime and violence, everyone in NYC (liberal and conservative) want a greater police presence,’ wrote Addie Shepherd on Twitter.