“SVU” merges Paula Deen, Trayvon Martin cases in rape, shooting story line

Really? A Southern chef accuses a black teen of attempting rape and shoots him on NBC's long-running drama

Topics: Paula Deen, Law and Order, SVU, trayvon marting, George Zimmerman,

"SVU" merges Paula Deen, Trayvon Martin cases in rape, shooting story linePaula Dean (Credit: AP/Peter Kramer)

The “Law & Order” franchise has a long history of taking on newsy subjects — from Rihanna’s relationship with Chris Brown to the Broadway show “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

But in its next season, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” will be combining the summer’s two most racially charged stories — in a single episode. Per Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Warren Leight acknowledges the debt the coming race-themed episode owes to the stories of celebrity chef Paula Deen’s racist language and poor treatment of black employees and the killing of Trayvon Martin:

“[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 Leight in an interview with EW. “There’s a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well.” [...]

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.”



Late-era “Law & Order” has tended to pull from more frivolous or entertainment-centric news stories; unsavory and enraging though it is, Paula Deen’s hateful speech is actually the perfect “Law & Order” subject. But the obvious debt to an incident that involves a dead teenager, and saddling a figure based on that teenager with allegations of potential rape, may make some viewers uncomfortable. As Leight acknowledged to Entertainment Weekly, “It was really 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.”

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...