Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Is Taking On The Harvey Weinstein Scandal

law and order svu

A scandal surrounding sexual harassment allegations against former Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein has rocked the world in 2017, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit intends to tackle the controversy. Given that SVU has been telling stories about sexual harassment and violence for nearly two decades now, it's not a huge surprise that the show will doing a sort of ripped-from-the-headlines story about this particular scandal. As it turns out, however, SVU's take on what happened might take some viewers by surprise. Executive producer Michael Chernuchin said this about how SVU will tackle the issue:

We were actually working on a story about airline pilots and what a boys club that is. We were beating the story out and said, 'Wow, this is exactly what the actresses go through in Hollywood. It's the same environment.' So we got all of our Harvey stuff out with airline pilots.

Yes, it seems that the Law & Order: SVU version of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood won't take place in the realm of showbiz at all. Instead, according to Michael Chernuchin's comments to EW, the detectives will be called upon for a case involving airline pilots. It's entirely possible that the episode won't even mention Weinstein, unless it's revealed that the Weinstein scandal exists in the SVU universe. The show doesn't always add real-life events to its plots, and Weinstein could be an example.

The Weinstein scandal being folded into an episode about airline workers should make for an interesting episode, as most of us probably wouldn't associate what happened with Weinstein with what will happen in SVU's version of the airline industry, especially considering that the episode was already being written. Any hour of television touching on the Weinstein scandal is going to draw a lot of attention; we can only hope that SVU handles the delicate issue in a way that works for fans. The show has handled past real-life cases well enough.

The episode is set to air at some point in 2018, so we may not have to wait too long. I have to wonder if perhaps SVU will cover the Weinstein story more directly at a later date, although there's no guarantee of a Season 20 or beyond at this point. We'll have to wait and see.

You can catch new episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. Brooke Shields landed a role in Season 19 that has her interacting with Olivia Benson (and her son) in some intriguing ways, and the cases are as twisty as ever. For when you can expect your favorite shows back on the airwaves in the new year, take a look at our 2018 midseason TV premiere guide. If you're not up on all the shows that got the axe this year and won't be back in 2018, swing by our 2017 TV cancellation rundown.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).