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The Law & Order franchise keeps on growing.
On Tuesday, NBC announced it has ordered 13 episodes of a new spinoff series called Law & Order: Hate Crimes. Deadline reports the series will draw inspiration from New York City’s Hate Crimes Task Force—a unit dedicated to investigating crimes motivated by discrimination.
Though the show could shed more light on a serious and topical subject, we can’t help but think the studio is playing with fire. Hate crimes have been on the rise for the last several years, and have been widely attributed to the ascent of Donald Trump, the neo-Nazi sympathizer who’s running our country.
If the team behind Hate Crimes approaches this complex topic carefully and thoughtfully, it could very well become a success; however, if they fail to provide meaningful insight into these varieties of crimes, it could potentially harm the conversation about race relations in the U.S.
The Hate Crimes spinoff will be introduced in the upcoming season of Law & Order: SVU. The series was co-created by Dick Wolf and Warren Leight, the former showrunner of SVU.
“As with all of my crime shows, I want to depict what’s really going on in our cities and shine a light on the wide-ranging victims and show that justice can prevail,” Wolf told Deadline. “Twenty years ago when SVU began, very few people felt comfortable coming forward and reporting these crimes, but when you bring the stories into people’s living rooms—with characters as empathetic as Olivia Benson—a real dialogue can begin. That’s what I hope we can do with this new show in a world where hate crimes have reached an egregious level.”
NBC has yet to announce a premiere date for Hate Crimes.