SVU: Law, Order, Trayvon, Paula Deen & The Whole Kitchen Sink
I have a strange affection for Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit. Maybe it’s the adorable partnered bromance of Ice-T’s and Richard Belzer’s Tutuola and Munch or Christopher Meloni’s unstable but passionate Stabler. I never tire of seeing Captain Cragen’s “I’m too old and sober for this shit” face and Benson trying to come to terms with her complicated childhood. All these characters were intense and over the top way before Scandal’s Olivia Pope entered with her masterful lip quiver. Sure, you usually have a good idea who committed the crime before the fifth duh duh, but it still holds your interest.
Like any show, Law & Order struggles to say relevant, which is obviously difficult after fourteen seasons, so the ”ripped from the headlines” storylines are a good way to capture the public’s attention. This is rarely done without criticism. There was an episode based on Chris Brown and Rihanna, the Sandusky trial, and even Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comment made an appearance.
But the third episode of season fifteen is going to be a doozy. According to TV Guide, Cybill Shepard will play Jolene Castille, a southern celebrity chef who kills an unarmed, hoodie-clad, Black teenager who she mistakenly thought was following her. Sounds a lot like Paula Deen and Trayvon Martin, doesn’t it? And as if that isn’t enough, aspects of Stop and Frisk will also be covered. According to the show’s executive producer Warren Leight:
“Is racial profiling justifiable? Can self-defense involve racial profiling? We’re diving right into that,’ he said. ‘Can that happen in New York? Absolutely.”
That’s a lot of nuanced and complicated issues to cover in forty-two minutes.
Not surprisingly, the good folks over at Fox News have some opinions on the matter. Eric Bolling, from the show The Five described the episode’s plot as “yanking America’s race scab right off,” then went on to describe talk about honest reporting in the media and issues with “the hip hop industry.” Watch this hilarity:
Despite what Fox News may think, there’s no denying that these are three sensitive issues that can fall into the category of “too soon.” The episode, titled “American Tragedy” is due to air in October. Will you be watching?
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