Given how the US is currently experiencing some of its most strident protests in years over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and many others by police officers, TV cop shows aren't exactly covered in glory at the moment.
In fact, a number of high-profile shows like 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' have announced that they are donating to bail funds for protestors arrested by the very police departments that they play in fictional settings. 'Law & Order: SVU' has always been a show that's taken its cues from real-world events, but how will it handle the current protests?
In an interview with THR, showrunner Warren Leight confirmed that both the pandemic and issues of police brutality and the protests "has to come up and it will."
"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."
Leight went on, adding that while the show has taken major steps to diversify their writing staff to include new voices, it might not have gone far enough, saying that the show has "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."
Not only that, but Leight also admitted that the show can't make every episode be about a bad cop. "Olivia (Benson, the show's lead protagonist) 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."
Currently, 'Law & Order: SVU' is expected to begin production in the next few weeks as lockdown measures are eased in the US.