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

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

In the wake of George Floyd's killing and the resurgent #BlackLivesMatter movement, many wondered if police programs would be over. Despite its three-season run, Law & Order: Organized Crime's sister Chicago P.D. law enforcement franchise was revived last year, and the cop show is continuing to grow.

Kelli Giddish, the star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, appears to have been a victim of the Law & Orders shakeup, while this writer will miss Giddishs Detective Amanda Rollins and her legacy of victim blaming and slut shaming, and her departure illustrates how far the Law & Order universe has come.

Amanda Rollins, a former SVU member, has not been cited as part of the show's 13th season due to the departure of Chris Melonis equally problematic Detective Elliot Stabler (who is now back in 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 to truly protect and serve their communities.

In later seasons, we learn that Rollins was raped by her former captain in Atlanta, who assaults another deputy in the season 16 episode Forgiving Rollins. Its a reaction that flew in the face of how SVU was being received at the time, as a sort of justice wish fulfillment for survivors who hoped their assaults would be treated with the same respect as the dedicated detectives who investigate these nasty crimes on NBC every week, but especially Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargita

Forgiving Rollins after she was compared to Benson was tough, even with all the information we get to know about her, especially as it relates to her sister, the irritant Kim, played with aplomb by Lindsay Pulsipher. She should be relatable and sympathetic, yet her story is always poorly written, allowing for the least charitable read on her as a character that prevents her from maturing, seemingly having risen above her toxic family yet always regressing.

Although we have empathy for Rollins and understand why she sometimes responds politely to survivors who she considers to be the right kind of person, she does not perform her job with that same empathy. A halfhearted plot line of her going to therapy to heal her toxic childhood ended in her being held hostage (and thats it). The episode that really shook me to the character was season 19s Service, in which Rollins questioned why SVU takes a look at sex workers who have been assaulte

Rollins is a clear example of the SVU and its brethren's uphill struggle. SVU had the opportunity to completely change how it represented policing in the late 2020s season 22 return, but many will argue that the damage the franchise has done to the public's perception of policing over the two decades can't be undone in a few months. With SVU tackling the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp case in the next 24th season, it

Detective Rollins isn't the only problem with SVU; she's just one part of a larger issue with cop shows and law enforcement in general. She was never forced to learn from her mistakes, but it's at least a step in the right direction.