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'Law & Order: SVU' to Address George Floyd Protests & Police Brutality

'Law & Order: SVU' to Address George Floyd Protests & Police Brutality

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is planning to mirror real-life events in its upcoming season.

The long-running series will address what’s happening now amid global protests denouncing systemic racism and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd.

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Showrunner Warren Leight said the NBC drama will not only tackle real-life issues, but also how law enforcement and the criminal justice system is portrayed on television.

“There are ways, we will find our way in to tell the story. Presumably our cops will still be trying to do the right thing but it’s going to be harder for them and they’re going to understand why it’s hard for them,” Warren said on THR’s TV Top 5 podcast.

“Change will start taking place on TV shows individually. There will be lip service paid,” he said, adding that he’s been making changes to the SVU writers’ room in “a conscious effort to bring in new voices, fresh voices, different voices.”

He also said they’ve “tried really hard in the last year to show how class and race affect the outcomes of justice in society, but I’m beginning to suspect ‘really hard’ wasn’t enough. This has to be a moment where people make themselves uncomfortable, where people in power have to make themselves uncomfortable.”

As for cop portrayal, he said he “can’t make every episode about a bad cop.” However, “Olivia makes mistakes…but she’s empathic, which is I think what separates the cops on our television show from a lot of what we’re seeing these days on our livestreams…I’ve been made uncomfortable by a number of shows that glorify the use of violence in interrogation or the use of threat.”

It will also address the ongoing pandemic: “We’re going to reflect New York in the pandemic. What happens to someone who is sexually assaulted during the height of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Here’s who’s returning for Season 22…

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