The last few months have been filled with big names in entertainment being taken down by reports of sexual misconduct, and there is no bigger case of a prominent person in the showbiz sphere being ousted than Harvey Weinstein. Reports of sexual harassment and assault from a number of women resulted in his ousting, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is set to tackle the case. Although the SVU story will have some notable differences from the real-life story, there will be a man in a position of power, and we now know who will play him: Martin Donovan.
The Harvey Weinstein-esque case on Law & Order: SVU won't actually be set in the showbiz arena. Instead, the case will revolve around an airline pilot as a central figure in a workplace that is mostly "a boys club." Martin Donovan (known for his work on Ant-Man, Weeds, and Legends of Tomorrow) landed the guest-starring role of a commercial airline pilot. The character will be accused of sexual assault by his co-pilot.
Interestingly, SVU was already working on an episode about sexual assault within the airline industry when the Harvey Weinstein story broke. Instead of rewriting the episode or scrapping the episode in favor of something more on-the-nose about Weinstein, SVU executive producer Michael Chernuchin has stated that the writers realized that the story they were telling was a lot like what actresses were reporting they'd gone through in Hollywood. The airline industry as a closed industry set a stage that is surprisingly similar to Hollywood, and THR reports that the SVU episode will examine how everybody was protecting this pilot for many years.
The co-pilot who makes the accusation against Martin Donovan's character has been cast as well. Yasmine Al Massri will tackle the role.
Yasmine Al Massri is best known for her work on Quantico, where she played a pair of twins for two seasons. The co-pilot role on Law & Order: SVU will undoubtedly be very different from her role on Quantico, and presumably not just because she won't be playing twins. The episode will air at some point in 2018. Given that the airline story was already in development, I have to wonder if perhaps SVU will someday tackle the Weinstein case more directly. The show has been ripping stories from the headlines from the very beginning, and the sexual assault stories coming out of Hollywood in recent months have made some very big headlines.
Law & Order: SVU will return in 2018 on Wednesday, January 3 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule for other important dates in the new year, and don't forget to swing by our 2017 rundown of TV cancellations.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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