Did Roastbuster Joseph Parker deserve a prime time TV spot?

I had to check my pulse the other day to make sure I was still alive.  I found myself agreeing with Golriz Gharaman and the shock was almost too much.

What on earth had we found to agree on?  Golriz has posted a series of tweets that show that she disagrees with Newshub, who chose to give Joseph Parker, of Roast Buster infamy, a platform to promote himself.  I found myself on the same side of this argument. I watched the interviews with Joseph, and these were the take away messages for me: quote:

We did a lot of things wrong,” he admitted, “but at the same time we also weren’t the monsters that everybody thought that we were […]

end quote

Denying and minimising the truth about their actions.  They sexually assaulted under aged girls and then bragged about it online, identifying and shaming victims. That?s pretty monstrous.

He continues ?. quote:

?By doing this interview I understand that some of the people that I have hurt will be exposed to the past again, I understand that, but I hope that they can see that there is a change in my heart and that they can see that I am here trying to make amends and make it better.?


It’s all about him. He acknowledges that he is re-traumatising victims in giving this interview, but justifies it because he wants them to think better of him.

In response to the interviews, The Spinoff has published ?I?m still living it: a Roastbusters Survivors story?.  It is a really well-written account of one woman?s story, and comes with a warning about distressing descriptions of sexual assault, for anyone who ventures to read it.

Here?s  a little peak at how one of his victims felt about the interview: Quote:

Laura hasn?t been able to eat all week. ?The closer that I am to Roast Busters stuff, the less I can take in of anything around me.? With tears in her eyes, she limply gestures from below her chin to the rest of her body. ?It?s like everything from here down just doesn?t exist.? She?s felt this way since Monday morning, after she was notified in a text message from police that Roast Busters ringleader Joseph Parker was going to be interviewed on Newshub that evening. As she read his name, she was instantly transported back to the most terrifying night of her life.

I wonder how much thought Newshub gave to how the victims would feel, or whether it was more important to them to grab the ‘exclusive’ to boost ratings.

As for Joseph Parker, was it really about making amends, or was the interview just a chance to promote his music? He opened up a crowd-funding page on 19th January, just before the interview, which featured the song Trophies, amongst other videos. Quote:

Under the artist name HOHEPA, Parker details the moment that he was delivered the police verdict in the song ?Trophies? on his Youtube channel. ?I was finally liberated when I moved to the US,? he sings, ?and I got a call on the phone with no charges.? Laura has listened to it, once.

?That song is all about his struggle, moving to LA and then being relieved to get the call that he was off scot-free,? she says. ?That was up there as one of the worst days of my life, feeling so failed by everyone after turning my life upside down for a year.?

?We can have all the #MeToo movement and all of that, but I still have to look at him on the six o?clock news without any mention of prevention or protection, any promise of harm reduction at all,? she says.

He gets to go on the news to promote his new song, I get a 20% off voucher for counselling sessions.end quote.