2SM faces backlash after John Laws tells child sex abuse victim to go ‘have a beer’

John LawsRadio broadcaster 2SM is again facing a public backlash after Mornings show host John Laws told an 80-year-old man, who had told him he was a victim of child sex abuse, to ‘go and have a beer’ and not be a ‘wet blanket’.

In an 14 minute phone call on-air Laws spoke to caller ‘Brian’ about his experience of abused as a child in the 1940s, at age 11 in Goondiwindi in Queensland and then when he was 14.

Over the course of the interview Laws recommended he “go to the pub and have a lemonade”, after the caller informed the host he did not drink alcohol and concluded the discussion by forcing the clearly distraught man to thank him for taking the call.

2SM management declined to comment on the interview this morning despite the interview sparking public anger and being denounced on social media. 

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This is not the first time Laws has been in trouble with child abuse victim support groups, last year the radio host was cleared of breaching media regulations for asking a woman who told him she had been sexually abused as a child if it had been her fault.

In the interview broadcast on yesterday’s 2SM Morning Show Laws responded to claims by Brian that his abuser had attacked “other young fellas out there and done the same thing to them too” by telling him “Brian, we’re talking about a very long time ago” and asking where his parents were.

Laws did tell the victim he was “sorry” for him and then went on to ask him if he had had other relationships.

Brian, who explained that he lived in the bush in a caravan outside of town, responded that his abuse had “turned me off it altogether”.

The radio host asked him he he felt better for talking to him about the abuse. The caller responded: “no”. He also informed Laws that “people don’t like me” to which the radio host responds: “have you ever asked why people don’t like me?”

Towards the end of the interview Laws tell caller he must “be responsible for his own activity” in regards to moving on with his life.

“Don’t be down, don’t be a wet blanket, go to the pub occasionally,” said Laws. “I don’t drink,” responded Bryan. “Never take to drink, never.”

“Well I wasn’t suggesting you take to drink. Well go to the pub and have a lemonade for god’s sake,” said Laws.

At the conclusion of the interview Laws demanded: “Brian could you say thank you.”

“Yeah… thank you”, the caller replied.

Nic Christensen 

Update: Laws spoke about the call on-air this morning but did not apologise for his handling of the call telling his audience:

“We had a few calls about Brian, I’m sure any of you who were listening remember him, who phoned in to tell us about being abused several years ago and his general dissatisfaction with life.

“Brian felt that he really didn’t like anybody.

“I know a lot of being were concerned about his well being. We certainly were and we did get in touch with him after the program and offering to connect him to counselling services.

“The handmaiden (Law’s producers) gave him the name for some support services that can help him.

“I just hope he is ok. His story did affect us here and if anyone else is struggling you should get in touch with Lifeline 13 11 14.

“We took care of him as best we could. It is a tough thing to handle – he is no youth he is 80 year old.

“It was very very sad. Anyway hopefully Brian is alright the hand maidens have called him and checked him out this morning.”

You can hear Laws discuss Brian’s call from six minutes in.


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