Audiences were left baffled this week by a ‘painful’ interview with Dhakota Williams – the teenaged daughter of notorious gangland figure, Carl Williams.
The interview, heavily publicised ahead of its airing, consisted predominantly of reporter Liam Bartlett quizzing Dhakota, 17, about whether she feels at all responsible for the murders her hitman father committed when she was a toddler.
Intercut with footage of Dhakota as a baby in her father’s arms, as well as a segment about her love of social media, were sit-down interview portions in which Liam repeatedly asked her about Carl’s crimes and heavily implied she should carry the weight of her late father’s guilt.
Viewers weren’t buying it.
Yes Carl William's was a flog but this bloke interviewing his daughter is trying to make it out like it was her fault he was her dad. Give it a rest chief #60Mins
— Elijah Ballerini (@ElijahBallerini) July 8, 2018
This poor young woman is still a child. I cannot believe #60mins is conducting this interview.
— Vanessa Wiltshire (@vanessarawson_) July 8, 2018
Dhakota’s completely innocent in all of this. The interviewer needs to stop implying that as a little girl she could’ve stopped her father #60Mins
— Jason (@oceanicdonkey) July 8, 2018
Not only did the interview insinuate that Dhakota – who, again, is presently 17 years old – should feel “ashamed” of her family and “wish things were different”, but it lingered on her Instagram account in what many felt was an inappropriately gratuitous way.
The #60mins story on (17 yo) Dakota Williams started with her doing modelling shots, and so far in the story there's no further explanation as to why.
— Stuart Fazakerley (@stuartfaz) July 8, 2018
@60Mins interviewing her like she was already 17 at the time her dad was doing all those things and she was his right hand girl? She was a baby? Is she ashamed?? Wtf.. it’s HER DAD! Clearly she’s going to keep and cherish those memories of him that’s all she has? 👎🏼🙄😒#60Mins
— P.P (@paigelouise420) July 8, 2018
Wasn't your finest hour Liam Bartlett….. She's not responsible for what her father did. How many times or ways could she tell you?! #60Mins
— Melanie (@melleegee) July 8, 2018
— PeAnRe (@PeterRendina) July 8, 2018
“You must be the only kid in the world to get two letters on the same day from your father and your grandfather, from the same prison,” Liam remarked to Dhakota at one point.
“It’s almost like a soap opera, isn’t it?”
The comment sparked disgust from concerned viewers.
“You must be the only child to get two letters in the same week from a dad and a granddad in jail” rolling eyes, laughing, shaking head in condescension and arrogance, as if talking to a mature adult. This child is 17 #60Mins
— Petra Campbell (@PetraAu) July 8, 2018
Seriously #60Mins How dare you unrelentingly shame that poor girl because she happened to be born to a violent man? You even ended the interview kicking her in the guts. But she outshone and held her head high.
— Petra Campbell (@PetraAu) July 8, 2018
Liam Bartlett failing to even try to understand what sort of childhood Dakota had. “Soap opera..”. For outsiders maybe, but not the person living it #60mins
— Adam Herdel (@Adsy01) July 8, 2018
Many noted that Dhakota was able to hold her own admirably well given she was being peppered with shame-inducing questions about her childhood by a middle-aged man with an agenda.
#60mins I really feel for Dhakota Williams – she should not be persecuted in the Court of Public Opinion for her mother & father’s choices. It’s sad watching an adult coaxing her into trying to justify his behaviour.
— Maddi (@maddi_roch) July 8, 2018
I think the poor child is being exploited by all & sundry.#60Mins
— BenZombie (@leighoneills) July 8, 2018
She doesn’t need to know about her fathers past. She was nine years old when he died – she has fond memories of him. Why tarnish those memories of the father she loved? #60Mins
— 🌈Arkady 💥🌷 (@Arkady2009) July 8, 2018
Your parents don’t need to define who you are. Her *father* made those choices and Dhakota has chosen not to dwell on it. It’s a strong move to protect her mental health. Not easy to be a murderer’s kid #60mins
— Renee 🦋 (@Coal_Front) July 8, 2018
#60Mins As usual…garbage journalism. Leave her alone. She seems a well adjusted normal kid. Good luck Dhakota.
— Daniel Slattery (@DSlatts) July 8, 2018