Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has always featured episodes ripped straight from the world's most controversial headlines and it looks like this hot-button tradition will continue in the drama's 15th season.
The NBC procedural is currently filming an episode that looks to be inspired by one of the biggest and most controversial legal stories of the year: the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the trial of George Zimmerman. Based on these photos snapped on the set Tuesday, SVU is taking on the case that both polarized and outraged the nation.
According to the Daily Mail, Cybill Shepard has been tasked to play a vigilante-like character who killed a black teenager named Mehcad. Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor is playing her lawyer, and the scene filmed yesterday involved a protest very much like the ones held during Zimmerman's trial in July. Extras can be seen holding signs almost identical to the ones created to mourn Trayvon Martin.
Castmembers Ice-T, Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer and Raul Esparza were also filming at the protest scenes. The episode is allegedly titled "American Tragedy."
When asked if this episode was in fact based on the Trayvon Martin case, NBC would only say: "SVU is fiction."
This is not the first time SVU has tackled mainstream cases. Last season, the series aired an episode featuring a hip-hop star named Caleb Bryant accused of physically assaulting his girlfriend Micha, who is also a famous singer. Sound familiar?
The new season of Law & Order: SVU premieres Sept. 25 on NBC.