“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is no stranger to making headlines into episodes. About to head into its 15th season, the NBC drama is set to mesh two major stories this year into one – the death of Trayvon Martin and the Paula Deen racism scandal.
News of the Trayvon Martin, Paula Deen inspired-episode broke in late August, but now we’ve got scoop on when viewers can watch it and what they can expect. According to SpoilerTV, the episode is called “American Tragedy,” and will air as the third episode of season 15 on Oct. 2.
The site teases that the episode will be about a “string of rapes on the Upper West Side” of Manhattan that raise “concerns across the city.” Detectives Tutuola and Rollins question those fitting the suspect’s description, but celebrity chef Jolene Castille takes matters into her own hands when she fears she’ll become the next victim. Shooting an unarmed teen she believes has followed her home, she’s arrested by SVU, leaving her attorney to face off against DA Barba “in a trial that tests the limits of the jury’s moral and legal responsibilities.”
“Is racial profiling justifiable? Can self-defense involve racial profiling?” executive producer Warren Leight dished to Entertainment Weekly. “We’re diving right into that. Can that happen in New York? Absolutely.”
“American Tragedy” will star Cybill Shepherd as the Paula Deen-inspired Jolene Castille. “Arrested Development” actor Jeffrey Tambor will guest star as her attorney.
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Earlier this year Paula Deen was faced with a discrimination lawsuit. She admitted to using racial slurs and subsequently lost her contract with the Food Network along with a cookbook deal.
Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Florida in February 2012. Martin was unarmed, and Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder.
You can catch the Trayvon Martin, Paula Deen inspired “Law & Order: SVU” episode when it airs on NBC on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. EDT. Season 15 begins with a special two-hour premiere on Sept. 25. [Click HERE to check out set photos from “American Tragedy.”]