Law & Order: Organized Crime shed its showrunner Craig Gore after he made controversial Facebook remarks about the 2020 demonstrations, despite the fact that the original Law & Order was revived last year, and the sister Chicago Police Department law enforcement franchise is continuing to thrive.
Kelli Giddish, a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actress, appears to have been a victim of the Law & Orders shakeup, with her departure announced ahead of the 24th season premiere on Thursday. But this writer will miss Giddish's Detective Amanda Rollins and her legacy of victim blaming and slut shaming, and her departure illustrates how far the Law & Order universe has come.
Kelli Giddishs departure from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was not made on her own initiative, but rather as part of the show's 13th season's remarkable cast of actors - including Chris Melon's equally troubling Detective Elliot Stabler - became an example of how important it is to cops to protect and serve their communities. If anything, her defense of an Ann Coulter-like political pundit in the season 19 episode Info Wars will prove anything.
In the following seasons, we learn that Rollins was raped by her former captain in Atlanta, who assaults another deputy in the season 16 episode Forgiving Rollins. Shell get over it, Rollins says, clearly projecting her own trauma on this survivor because it was what Rollins herself had to do, as a kind of justice wish fulfillment for survivors who hoped their assaults would be treated with the same attention as the dedicated detectives who investigated these brutal crimes on NBC every week.
Even with all the baggage we come to know about Rollins, especially as it relates to her sister, the infuriating Kim, played with aplomb by Lindsay Pulsipher, forgiveness after that was tough. Her character is always poorly written, and allows for the least charitable reading on her as a character that prevents her from growing, and her twin superiority complex at seemingly having risen above her toxic family but always regressing.
While we have empathy for Rollins and understand why she responds politely to survivors who she believes to be a good example, she does not perform her job with that same empathy. The scene in Season 19s Service that completely shook me was when Rollins asked why SVU gives such a damning assessment to rape victims. It's sickening for a detective charged with bringing rapists to justice.
Rollins is a good example of the SVU and its brethren's difficult battles. SVU had the opportunity to change how it represented policing in the late 2020s season 22 return, making no effort to unpack the racial reckoning of that summer with any of the care that made survivors fall in love with the program.
Detective Rollins isn't the only problem with SVU; she's just one part of a larger problem with police shows and law enforcement in general. She was never forced to learn from her mistakes, and she was protected from becoming an adult again.