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Law & Order Prosecutor Speaks Out About John Oliver's Scathing Critique On Last Week Tonight

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver is someone who isn't afraid to go after powerful organizations, public figures, and even TV shows/movies if he finds something unethical or wrong with them. And that's exactly what the British-born host did during the September 11 episode of his HBO late-night show, with one of his targets being the juggernaut TV franchise "Law & Order."

"It's an ad for a defective product," Oliver blasted, after bringing up articles that had pointed out how "Law & Order" had misrepresented actual police work over the years and portrayed cops — as well as the justice system — as being heroic and not flawed. "If a medical show was giving us inaccurate information, we would say it's dangerous," Oliver continued. "That's essentially what Law & Order is doing." Some of the TV tropes, according to Oliver, that Dick Wolf and the showrunners have gotten away with include the repeated message that "cops can always figure out who did it," defense attorneys are evil, and police brutality is "a just outcome" for criminals. 

"Underneath it all, it is a commercial, and a commercial produced by a man who is, in his own words, unabashedly pro-law enforcement," Oliver alleged. "And he is very good at selling things. And in this instance, he's selling a complete fantasy that many people in this country are only too happy to buy." One person, though, who isn't ready to keep buying that fantasy is former "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" prosecutor Diane Neal.

Diane Neal agrees with John Oliver, says she's 'embarrassed' to have believed Law & Order

Speaking in a series of tweets, Diane Neal voiced her approval of John Oliver's "Law & Order" segment on "Last Week Tonight" and also revealed how she, too, was duped by Dick Wolf's seemingly-accurate portrayal of police work. 

"Did any of you watch @LastWeekTonight with @iamjohnoliver? about the depiction of #lawenforcement on #svu giving victims who report sex crimes in real life unrealistic expectations that the cops will care or crimes will be solved?" Neal tweeted. "I'm embarrassed to admit, I used to think the way it worked on the show was like real life," she said. "Then I found out the hard way I was wrong." Social media users were quick to agree with Neal, with many showering her with praise for speaking up in support of Oliver's claims. 

"It's a TV show made partially to trick people into trusting the police," wrote Twitter user @MeowRuka. "It even fooled you," they said, referencing Neal. User @Rebecca18201761 tweeted: "The NYT did an expose on the real nyc SVU and it's under investigation for ignoring victims and not believing them. This was only a month or so ago." 

According to The New York Times, the Special Victims Division of the NYPD is currently under federal investigation for allegedly ignoring sexual assault cases and not investigating them properly and more thoroughly. A research firm hired by the Police Department reportedly found that suspects were being identified more than 80 percent of the time during sex assault probes, but over half of the cases were later closed due to an apparent lack of evidence. According to The Times, the research firm also found that police will often refuse to pursue possible leads and evidence related to the assault cases, such as surveillance video and witness accounts. In one instance, cops actually told a rape victim to contact her alleged attacker by phone and speak with him, per the Times. The woman reportedly refused.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).