Posted on January 31, 2024

‘Law & Order’ White Rape Victim’s Speech About Black Man Sparks Outrage

Thomas Kika, Newsweek, January 29, 2024

Arecent Law & Order storyline about a white woman being hesitant to name a Black man as her attacker in a rape case sparked anger amongst conservative users online.

The episode at the center of the consternation was from the popular spin-off of the long-running procedural series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which focuses on sex crimes. Airing on January 25, “Truth Embargo” saw a white woman, played by Romina D’Ugo, sexually assaulted during an incident at a clothing store.

When questioned at the hospital later, she initially claims to have not seen the face of her attacker, despite being shown footage of the suspect removing a mask before entering her changing room. She later admits to having hesitancy about giving testimony about her attacker, a Black man played by Mykey Cooper, citing the systemic racial inequities in the American justice system.

“She’s inconsolable,” the character’s partner tells detectives at one point. “We’re acutely aware of the systemic inequities that exist within the criminal justice system.”

“Well, I can’t deny that there’s a history of racial bias,” the main character, Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, responds. “It’s certainly not a perfect system.”

Even though the woman is ultimately convinced to testify about the incident and name her attacker, the episode sparked outrage from several conservative users on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.