'Law & Order: SVU' Turns Its Eye To Charlottesville For New Season

Showrunner Michael Chernuchin aims to "present the issues."
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson in "Law & Order: SVU"
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson in "Law & Order: SVU"
NBC via Getty Images

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” isn’t shying away from controversy this time around.

After essentially burying an episode inspired by Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential election, the long-running NBC series is set to tackle the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.

“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,” showrunner Michael Chernuchin told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

Chernuchin also revealed that the new season will take on the various incidents of passengers being dragged off planes, as well as catfishing and cyber-bulling, in response to Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.”

NBC apparently had a change of heart on hot topics since previously shelving an episode featuring a Trump-esque wealthy businessman-turned-politician played by actor Gary Cole. According to the network’s description, the character’s campaign “goes haywire when several women go public with damaging accusations.”

The aptly titled installment, “Unstoppable,” was initially intended to air in October before the election, but got rescheduled to Nov. 16. NBC then moved the episode again to accommodate Game 7 of the World Series, but as of January head honcho Dick Wolf still couldn’t tell reporters whether it would ever see the light of day.

“Law & Order: SVU” returns Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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