Two of the biggest stories of 2013 have been Paula Deen’s dramatic, N-word fueled fall from her throne of sculpted butter, and George Zimmerman’s trial following the death of Trayvon Martin. Both stories gripped the nation for weeks/months at a time, and led to very passionate, important discussions about issues like race, hurtful language, gun control, and when and how individuals should be allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves. We still don’t have simple answers for any of it, and while talking about it frankly can go a long way toward teaching and understanding, it can also open up some nasty wounds, as we’ve seen in the weeks since.
Anywhoozle, Law & Order: SVU is going to combine both stories into one 42-minute episode.
“[Jeffrey] Tambor is a defense attorney representing a very high-profile celebrity woman chef who thought she was being pursued by a rapist and turned around it was a teenager. And she shot him,” said [executive producer Warren] Leight in an interview with EW. “There’s a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well.”
Cybill Shephard is playing the part of the celebrity chef, and Smash’s Leslie Odom, Jr. is portraying a minister of the slain child in what will be the third episode of the season.
They won’t be shying away from the big questions either, according to 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.” [EW]
This is either brilliant or totally insane, bordering on reckless. Like, on one hand, yes, there is definitely an area in the middle where both stories overlap, and if you grab your sifting pan and filter out the extraneous stuff, you can tell one hell of a powerful story. But on the other hand, this is SVU we’re talking about. A show that’s not exactly known for its subtlety. A show that once featured a DJ whose personal motto was “Wreckin’ Decks & Gettin’ Sex.” A show that stars Ice-T as a detective.
Let’s just say I’m a little nervous.