Local elections 2022: Guy Williams' interview with Leo Molloy attracts praise from Newshub's Patrick Gower

  • 19/07/2022

Newshub national correspondent Patrick Gower is praising comedian Guy Williams after a bizarre interview with Auckland Mayoral candidate Leo Molloy.

"I would have been really proud of that if I was you," Gower told Williams during Monday night's edition of The Project. "I thought it was really illuminating, you showed the character of this person. It's up to the audience - they're very intelligent - they can judge it for themselves." 

During the controversial interview on Williams' New Zealand Today comedy show last week, which prompted calls from a rival for Molloy to withdraw from the Auckland Mayoral race, Molloy used the word "retard" on multiple occasions while also calling Williams a "soft c*ck" and "woke". 

"You should be, actually, proud of what you did," Gower told Williams of the interview. "You made people laugh, you gave people information and I just thought it was awesome, and I'm proud to be your friend and your colleague when I watch it."

Williams said during his appearance on The Project he'd copped criticism for the interview.

"I'm not the victim here but my show, for people who don't know it… is me doing weird stories around New Zealand and I thought it was bizarre that this guy who's known for being an absolute loose cannon, to put it nicely… was running for Auckland Mayor.

"I thought I'd put him on my show and I thought it was very funny - I thought it was going to end his political career but I've been criticised for 'platforming'... I understand that criticism, I think it's fair and I didn't give his main rivals Viv Beck and Efeso Collins a fair chance to speak."

At the same time, Williams added he wanted to show how Molloy responded to the comedic interview.

"In his case, it was very angry," Williams said.

Leo Molloy.
Leo Molloy. Photo credit: File

"I still understand the criticism that comes with it."

Molloy last week rejected calls from Mayoral candidate rival Wayne Brown to withdraw from the race. Molloy said Brown had "no sense of humour" and didn't understand the show was satirical.

"The show was theatrical, I played up as instructed, all in good humour," Molloy said.

"Guy remains a friend and in fact visited our campaign HQ last week and I would highly recommend Wayne Brown stop focusing on comedy shows and start focusing on the issues that matter to Aucklanders."