What do you get when you combine Paula Deen and George Zimmerman? You get a very hot controversial topic for the show, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." This particular episode titled, "American Tragedy," will air sometime in October.
"Law & Order: SVU" is combining the two hottest topics that made headline news this year and they are using them as a basis for one of their episodes. "Law & Order" often bases their episode on headline news, but this may be the first in such a volatile subject that hasn't had a chance to heal.
In this episode, Cybill Shephard plays the character Jolene Castille, who is a celebrity southern chef/restaurant owner. She is aware that the police are tracking a rapist in the Upper West Side. As she walks down the street in that part of the city, she becomes aware that someone is following her. Jolene believes it's the rapist because he fits the description issued by the police. Terrified, she turns around and shoots the alleged perpetrator. But the person she shoots turns out to be an unarmed, black, teenage boy wearing a hoodie. Jolene, the gun wielding celebrity chef, hires a defense attorney, played by Jeffrey Tambor. Also starring in this episode is Leslie Odom, Jr., from Smash who plays the minister of the slain teenage boy. It is rumored that Sonja Sohn will play a member of the deceased teenager's family.
According to TV Guide, Executive Producer, Warren Leight, said that this episode is sure to cause controversy amongst the viewers. "When the script was published it became a litmus test for everybody here. 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."
Paula Deen is the celebrity chef who starred on Food Network and sold her own brand of merchandise. Her food empire crumbled when her deposition became public and she admitted to saying the N-word. George Zimmerman was on trial for shooting and killing Travon Martin.
NBC’s "Law & Order: SVU" will start season 15 on Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. central for a two-hour premier episode.