'Law & Order: SVU' to Tackle Harvey Weinstein Scandal

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is taking on another "ripped from the headlines" story.

The long-running crime drama headed by Dick Wolf will run an episode inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal later this season.

But rather than take on the entertainment industry (which is a plot it has explored before), the episode will focus on the "boys club" of airline pilots.

Executive producer Michael Chernuchin told Entertainment Weekly that SVU writers had already begun work on the plotline before dozens of women accused Hollywood heavyweight Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Soon after, other industry leaders followed.

"We were actually working on a story about airline pilots and what a boys club that is," Chernuchin says. "We were beating the story out and said, 'Wow, this is exactly what the actresses go through in Hollywood. It's the same environment.' So we got all of our Harvey stuff out with airline pilots."

Still, they wanted to move forward as is to explain that this inappropriate behavior extends beyond Hollywood's curtains.

"It's a real important episode about the rape culture in an industry," he added, "We wanted to try to stretch the law to criminalize that sort of environment."

The episode is slotted to air later in the current season 19.

The Law & Order franchise, particularly SVU, often film stories inspired by current events. They've tackled episodes loosely based around the popular Making a Murderer plot, Gamergate controversy and the disappearance of Elizabeth Smart.

The cast also filmed an episode inspired by then presidential candidate Donald Trump last year, but it never aired.

That episode, titled "Unstoppable," focused on a wealthy man with a crass attitude (played by Gary Cole) who makes a run for the White House. His plan goes haywire when a woman accuses his of rape.

"Unstoppable" was set to air on October 12, then it was pushed to October 26 and again to November 16 during the election year. But after Trump won the election, the episode was scrapped from the season.

This summer, NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt told Deadline that the episode "is probably never going to air."


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.