NBC police procedural Law & Order: SVU has set the cast for an upcoming episode reportedly inspired by the real-life saga of the sexual harassment rumors and accusations surrounding former Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the “ripped from the headlines”-styled episode will be titled “The Newsroom,” with actors Christopher McDonald, Bonnie Somerville and Mark Moses set for key roles.
The episode — set to air April 26 — follows a female news anchor who accuses her network boss of rape. The episode synopsis describes series stars, Mariska Hargitay and Raúl Esparza, investigating the “on-air disclosure of rape” against the TV network boss:
“Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Barba (Raúl Esparza) ask witnesses to put their jobs on the line after a news anchor (Somerville) makes an on-air disclosure of rape against her boss,” the synopsis reads.
The story comes on the heels of over a year of accusations and lawsuits aimed at Fox News chief Ailes by several on-air talents.
This week, another Fox employee accused Ailes of sexual harassment.
Nine months after Ailes was ousted as network chief, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky filed a lawsuit in New York claiming that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances.
The NBC show, which debuted in 1999 and is now in its 17th season, focuses on the investigations of the “special victims unit” of the New York Police Department and usually centers around a sexual crime. It has specialized in airing episodes on topics in the news.
The show can often go over the top with its references to current events. Most recently, NBC announced that it would not air a politically-charged episode that featured a character based on then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The episode was originally set to air last October but was pulled.
The unaired episode, which was completed before being shelved, depicts a candidate (Gary Cole) who is hit with multiple accusations of sexual assault in the middle of his presidential campaign.
In 2013, the show was also criticized for casting troubled boxer Mike Tyson as a victim of sexual abuse.
The recent Law & Order: SVU episode is far from the first project to use the Ailes accusations as fodder for entertainment. Just last year, Annapurna Pictures announced that the former Fox News chief will be the subject of a new film from Oscar-winning The Big Short screenwriter Charles Randolph.
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