It hasn’t even been three weeks since the white supremacist demonstration at Charlottesville that ended in the killing of an antifascist protester (and the sudden, subsequent realization by way too many white people that Donald Trump is a white nationalist), but worry not, SVU fans! Law & Order: SVU is wasting no time in modeling an upcoming episode after Charlottesville because uh, that’s what that show does?
SVU show runner Michael Chernuchin told Entertainment Weekly:
“We do rip from current headlines, so if headlines have to do with politics we’ll do it. You know, with what just happened in Charlottesville, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll do that. We don’t want to take a stand on any political point of view, but we like to present the issues. What I want is, at the end of a show, for half the people to stand up and cheer and the other half to throw their shoes at the TV. I want controversy.”
This sounds like...not a great idea. To have a TV executive cheerfully promise to exploit the death of a woman, the lingering wounds of slavery, and the continued oppression of black people in this country for the sake of “controversy” isn’t hugely surprising, but it’s still hugely gross. And Chernuchin’s promise “not to take a stand on any political point of view” makes it sound like there’s a big chance SVU could put neo-Nazis on the same footing as people protesting racism, anti-Semitism, thus embracing the false and very dangerous dichotomy touted by our dumbass president.
Moreover, as Shadow and Act pointed out, SVU came under fire for a Black Lives Matter-inspired episode which wasted an opportunity to discuss the killings of unarmed black people by the police and instead had its main character vouch for an officer who killed an unarmed black person. So I can’t say I’ll be shocked if they give the same sort of credence to white supremacists. In fact, I might bet my bottom dollar on it.