'Law & Order: SVU' Takes Shot at President Trump

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit delivered a not-so-subtle reference to President Donald Trump during Wednesday night's episode.

It all stems from a twist in the night's case. One of the witnesses, a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilson) to an alleged rape and assault will not cooperate with authorities.

However, a discovery by Det. Dominick "Sonny" Carisi's (Peter Scavino) reveals why he will not testify.

"Jim Preston is never gonna testify," Carisi says. "It's got nothing to do with (military) code. We just got the blood back from the lab test, and it's a match for Jim. But the DNA in the blood is genetically female. Jim Preston is a transgender man."

Lt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) then visits Preston to convince him to testify despite what it could do to his military career.

"If I testify, my country will attack me," Preston says.

Benson replies, "Not your country, some close-minded people who work for it."

He then says we will be put into "a prison of my own making," Benson just assumes he is afraid of what fellow soldiers will think. However, the problem stems back to recent views expressed my Trump.

"It's so much beyond that. The least of my worries is having people laugh at me behind my back and (trying) to get a look at me in the shower," he says. "Once I'm outed to officials, there is no going back in. And from a stroke of tweet from Air Force One, I could lose my job, my career, everything I've ever worked for."

Benson then understands and tries to explain that he should not worry about legislation against transgender soldiers.

"I know that things feel uncertain, but do you get any comfort knowing that that tweet did not become a law?" Benson says.

Preston replies, "Today? Maybe. What about tomorrow? ... I'm a soldier, a damn good solider. I couldn't stand being behind a desk."

This on-screen panic stems from real life tweets Trump sent in July 2017.

"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump tweeted. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."

The Trump administration recently took actions to limit transgender men and women from serving in the military, so it seems like SVU ripped this worry straight from the headlines.


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. All past episodes of the show are available to stream on Hulu. Season 15-18 are available to stream on Netflix.

Photo Credit: NBC / Peter Kramer