How Law and Order: SVU Plans to Tackle George Floyd’s Death and Resulting Protests

“How do you reflect in the midst of a pandemic, an insurrection caused by systemic racism and police brutality. There’s a lot going on, we’re reeling…We altered a teaser today to have somebody who’s assumed to be guilty because he’s black and he’s in the wrong place. We added the extra beat that they could arrest him on the spot because he was arrested during demonstrations and he didn’t show up for a desk appearance, so there’s a warrant out for him. That was today’s addition. God help me, what’s next week?…We try to be of the moment,” he said.

SVU diversified the characters in front of the camera during season 21, adding Jamie Gray Hyder as Officer Katriona Tamin, a bisexual Lebanese American, to the main cast and several recurring characters from different backgrounds. “We have a diverse enough cast, and we’ll be looking, I think, to bring in more that way to tell that side of the story as well,” Leight said.

And the show will address the death of George Floyd and the protests that have swept not just the nation, but the world. “It has to come up and it will,” he said, noting there will be obstacles for the characters to face, namely Carisi (Peter Scanavino). How will ADA Carisi navigate a trial while trust in police officers is low? What happens when the cops on the stand aren’t going to be believed by a jury?

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