Law & Order had to exorcise one of its long-running characters in order to continue to evolve

Law & Order had to exorcise one of its long-running characters in order to continue to evolve ...

Law & Order: Organized Crime's showrunner Craig Gore was sacked in the wake of the George Floyds killing and the resurgence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in recent years (the program has since had five showrunners throughout its three-season run), so it appears that cop shows are doubling down.

Kelli Giddish, the writer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, appears to have been a victim of a Law & Orders shakeup, as she prepares for her role as Detective Amanda Rollins for SVUs 24th season premiere on Thursday. Giddish's departure demonstrates how far the Law & Order universe has come.

Amanda Rollins, an actress who left Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on her own accord, was identified by the show's new showrunner David Graziano as just part of the show's 13th season's creative and financial decisions, but rather of her protagonists. (He has since returned to this role in Organized Crime, as well as many other appearances in the spinoff that made him famous). And she quickly (and often) became an example of the limitations of police programs in order to truly protect

In later seasons, we learn that Rollins was raped by her former captain in Atlanta, who then assaults another deputy in the season 16 episode Forgiving Rollins. The reaction at the time was almost like a justice wish fulfillment for survivors who hoped their assaults would be treated with the same care as the dedicated detectives who investigated these vicious crimes every week on NBC, but especially Captain Olivia Benson, the patron saint of rape avengers.

Even with all the information we get to know about Rollins, including as it relates to her sister, the enraged Kim, played with aplomb by Lindsay Pulsipher, it was difficult to forgive her after that, especially since she has such a dismal family. Yet, her story is always poorly written and allows for the least charitable reading on her as a character that prevents her from growing, despite her twin superiority complex of seemingly ascending above her toxic family and always regressing

Rollins is a talented detective who doesn't seem to do her job with that same empathy. A halfhearted plot line that involved her going to therapy to recover from her toxic upbringing ended in her being held hostage (and thats it). For a detective tasked with defying sexual assault on the job to profess such disrespect is unsettling.

Rollins is a case study on the SVU and its brethren's uphill battle. SVU had the opportunity to transform how it represented policing in the late 2020s season 22, but it failed to clear up the story of the racial reckoning of that summer or the dedication to the show that sparked survivors' passion for the program.

Detective Rollins isnt the only problem with SVU; shes only one part of a wider issue with police shows and law enforcement in general. She was never forced to learn from her mistakes. Eliminating her isnt going to solve every Law & Order problem, but it's at least a step in the right direction.