'I want controversy,' says 'SVU' showrunner Michael Chernuchin

By Chancellor Agard and Natalie Abrams
August 30, 2017 at 02:52 PM EDT

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit hopes to take on the recent events in Charlottesville,Virginia, in its upcoming season.

Showrunner Michael Chernuchin expressed his interest in ripping from the headlines about the white supremacist riots when EW spoke to him for our upcoming Fall TV Preview. “We do rip from current headlines, so if headlines have to do with politics we’ll do it. You know, with what just happened in Charlottesville, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll do that,” said Chernuchin. “We don’t want to take a stand on any political point of view, but we like to present the issues. What I want is, at the end of a show, for half the people to stand up and cheer and the other half to throw their shoes at the TV. I want controversy.”

Obviously, this isn’t the first time the long-running NBC drama has tackled politics. In the previous season, the show planned on doing a story about a politician’s (Gary Cole) election campaign going haywire after several women go public with damaging accusations. However, the episode was scheduled for October 2016, but ended up being delayed and still hasn’t aired. As of January, mega-executive producer Dick Wolf still didn’t know if or when it would air.

The Charlottesville-inspired installment isn’t the only ripped from the headlines story planned for this season. Chernuchin told EW they will touch on passengers being dragged off airplanes (see the infamous United flight from April), and he told THR that they will tackle catfishing and cyber-bullying in an episode he described as “our answer to 13 Reasons Why.”

Law & Order: SVU returns Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

— Reporting by Natalie Abrams

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