“Law & Order: SVU” often aims to tackle high-profile issues through their plot-lines, such as the Chris Brown and Rihanna-themed episode that aired last February. In the show’s 15th season, which begins airing in September, the writers will attempt to address three headlining issues affecting the Black community.
According to Executive Producer Warren Leight, the Trayvon Martin case and the Paula Deen scandal will be played against a New York backdrop.
Cybill Shepherd will play a celebrity chef, who feels like a rapist is pursuing her. The character will turn around and find a teenager, and will shoot him. Jeffrey Tambor will play the defense attorney representing her.
“There’s a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well,” Leight said to Entertainment Weekly.
“Is racial profiling justifiable? Can self-defense involve racial profiling? We’re diving right into that,” he continued.
This episode will divide the detectives of the Special Victims Unit. And many members of the show’s staff also had different views about the episode’s content.
Audience members will vary in their responses, as well. The issues that inspired this episode were only recently front-page news. Sentiments about Paula Deen, George Zimmerman and stop-and-frisk are still fresh.
“It was interesting to see people read that script and have different interpretations about who did what and whether or not they deserved prison for it. It was fascinating,” Leight said.
The “Law & Order: SVU” season begins September 25 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
[Image: New York Daily News]