‘Law & Order: SVU’ To Take On Trayvon Martin & Paula Deen In New Episode
Cybill Shepherd will play the hybrid George Zimmerman Paula Deen character on 'Law & Order: SVU's controversial episode
Law & Order plans to air an ambitious episode that will take on a story that pulls from the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin and southern comfort chef Paula Deen’s history of racial slurs.
The details surrounding Martin’s death and Deen’s status as a celebrity cook will be tied together in an upcoming episode of the Law & Order procedural franchise's SVU spinoff. "[Jeffrey] Tambor is a defense attorney representing a very high-profile celebrity woman chef who thought she was being pursued by a rapist and turned around [and] it was a teenager," executive producer Warren Leight told Entertainment Weekly. "And she shot him. There’s a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well.”
Playing the character that’s somewhat of a hybrid between George Zimmerman and Deen is Cybill Shepherd. The name of the actor playing Mehcad, the episode’s version of Trayvon Martin, has not yet been revealed, butThe Wire actress Sonja Sohn is rumored to be playing a family member of the slain teenager, reported The Daily Mail.
The “ripped from the headlines” narrative is making a conscientious effort to inspire a dialogue. According to Leight, the script served to do just that with the cast and crew on set during filming.
“Is racial profiling justifiable? Can self-defense involve racial profiling? We’re diving right into that. Can that happen in New York? Absolutely,” Leight told EW. “It was really interesting to see people read that script and have different interpretations about who did what and whether or not they deserved prison for it. It was fascinating.”
In a fifteenth season that promises more than one episode inspired by recent current events, this Law & Order: SVU episode is sure to draw ample interest due to the high-profile nature of the real-life stories involved. It’s scheduled to air sometime in October.
– Chelsea Regan
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