The next episode of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU will feature another story “ripped from the headlines.” This time, the show that mines controversy will tackle “legitimate rape” a la former Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin.
The promo for the episode tells us the gist of the show.
A woman (The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan) is raped by a co-worker (David Marciano, Homeland), but she decides to keep the child. The episode features the rapist being tried for the crime. An “expert” witness is then seen uttering the Akinesque line.
The voice over says: “Ripped from the headlines. Words that set off a national controversy.”
A character sitting in the witness box then says, “It’s nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant.” This is followed by looks of disgust by the two female lead detective characters sitting in the courtroom gallery.
Clearly, the jury accepts the expert’s testimony-hence all the grimacing by the show’s stars.
To subtly drive home an allusion to a politician like Todd Akin, on the lapel of the character testifying is a prominent U.S. flag pin, just like one a conservative politician might wear. How often do you think characters on Law & Order: SVU have worn flag pins?
Law & Order: SVU recently courted controversy by hiring real-life rapist Mike Tyson for the ill-fitting role of a victim of child abuse.