After a brief Rickrolling of his audience, John Oliver turned toward the darker corners of the Internet on Sunday, exploring the depth and danger posed by online threats against women.
“I’m talking about the kind of direct threats that can make people fear for their safety,” the host of “Last Week Tonight” said.
“And if you’re thinking, well come on, that doesn’t seem like that big a problem, well, congratulations on your white penis,” he said.
If you’re endowed with one of those, Oliver said, you likely have a very different experience on the Internet than women.
Oliver pointed to video game journalists Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian, both of whose harassers have posted the women’s addresses online and called in bomb and death threats.
The same kind of thing visited Slate writer Amanda Hess.
“Happy to say we live in the same state,” one man wrote to her on Twitter. “Im looking you up, and when i find you, im going to rape you and remove your head.” He added that he had done 12 years on manslaughter charges for killing a woman.
Oliver investigated the shortcomings in law enforcement that prevent cops and the legal system from properly protecting women from online threats (and offshoots like revenge porn).
Watch the clip, courtesy of HBO: