Oh dear. The upcoming season of Law & Order is said to include an episode in which a "high profile, celebrity woman chef" thinks she is being pursued by a rapist, turns and shoots what then proves to be an innocent, black teenager. Word of the episode has sent the rightwing media into a frenzy.
The chef is a fictionalized version of Paula Deen, the Savannah,
Georgia-based cooking personality and author who was recently embroiled
in a racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit. The minor she fatally shoots is clearly inspired by Trayvon Martin.
It's no secret that SVU has a liberal streak. The show built an episode around Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment, and not flatteringly so. Back in the sixth season, the assistant district attorney subpoenaed Donald Rumsfeld. The series is also consistently critical of gay-bashers. And in the forthcoming Paula Deen-Trayvon Martin episode, "There's a lot of stop and frisk elements to [the SVU story], as well," according to Leight.
...This is also not the first time that SVU has directly pissed off Fox News. In a 2009 episode titled "Anchor,"
a defense attorney explains why he's chosen to defend man who murdered
the kids of undocumented immigrants. The lawyer puts most of the blame
on conservative media figures, rather than the killer himself: "Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly,
all of them. They're like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I
mean, they have convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not
corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care
This did not sit well with Fox host Bill O'Reilly. "That is simply
defamatory and outrageous, and Dick Wolf is a coward for putting it out
there," he complained on The O'Reilly Factor. "Dick Wolf, the executive producer of Law & Order,
is a despicable human being for distorting and exploiting this very
complicated situation. I mean, enough is enough with these network
pinheads who shove propaganda down our throats under the guise of
entertainment." (as opposed to the FOX crew who prefer to package their propaganda in the guise of news.)