John Laws you are a disgrace
John Laws won’t read this. Even if he did he wouldn’t care.
And that’s fine.
Because he is John Laws and he obviously knows best.
At 2SM he clearly runs the show. He calls the shots. He sets the agenda for his show. He is the final arbiter of what is, or isn’t, suitable content. He’s the boss.
He is also a disgrace.
This week on his show on the Super Radio Network, John Laws interviewed a woman who had been subject to horrific sexual abuse at the hands of her father, uncle, and brother. The abuse took place across a 9-year period from the ages of 6 to 15.
If you haven’t heard the interview, you can hear it below:
Much of the interview was innocuous, and there were some sensitive moments. However whatever appropriate content was aired was completely drowned out by Laws appalling judgement on multiple occasions during the 7 minutes, and in his behaviour in defending it afterwards.
The kindest thing you might say about his questioning is that he was guilty of exceptionally poor judgement. But Laws does not deserve kindness at this point.
Because his errors made this worse. So much worse.
After the caller had outlined the sexual abuse, Laws felt it acceptable to say;
Laws: “My god they were having a good time with you, you mean a number of males were sexually abusing when you were 6 years old?
Caller: “Yeah when I was 6”
Laws: “Was it in any way your fault?”
Caller: “I don’t think so”
Laws: “You weren’t provocative?”
Caller: “I was a little girl so I don’t think so John, I was just a little girl”
She was 6 years old! Provocative? What was he thinking?
How could he defend that question?
Yet that’s exactly what he did, telling all the critics to ‘go to hell’.
He attempted to backpedal in the 24 hours following the interview by saying this question was referring to when she was 15, not when she was 6. Because that of course makes it so much better.
It is hard to know where to begin. So I will simply say this to John Laws.
As a father of two teenage daughters, as a husband, as a son, your comments and questions were offensive.
They were insensitive.
They were inappropriate.
They were indefensible.
They were wrong.
“Were you provocative?”
What? Was a 6-year old provocative, and by inference therefore invited sexual abuse from her father, uncle and brother?
What an ugly question. Ugly to think of it, uglier to say it.
Your questions were disgraceful.
Your defense of them deplorable.
And the fact that your employer has been completely silent is damning on the Super Radio Network.
You should hang your head in shame, but you won’t. Because you’re John Laws and you clearly know best.
You’re a disgrace.
Dan Bradley is Executive Director of Kaizen Media; a boutique international radio consulting and artist management company, working with radio stations, media talent and music artists.
You can contact Dan here.