Brow Beat

Law & Order: Hate Crimes Is a Thing That Is Happening

Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T stand in an office in front of a window with the blinds drawn.
Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
NBC

Dick Wolf is back at it again. NBC has ordered yet another spinoff from the Law & Order creator, this one a 13-episode series called, and I swear I am not making this up, Law & Order: Hate Crimes. According to Variety, the show is based on New York’s real Hate Crimes Task Force and will be introduced in the upcoming 20th season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The new show was co-created by SVU showrunner Warren Leight.

Last year, the Law & Order franchise introduced a true-crime spinoff that dedicated an entire season to the case of the Menendez brothers. Now, even as Wolf works his way through every department in the NYPD to wring new shows out of them, Law & Order: Hate Crimes still sounds like an SNL parody of Law & Order under the Trump administration, really leaning into the show’s reputation for ripped-from-the-headlines plots.

“20 years ago when SVU began, very few people felt comfortable coming forward and reporting these crimes,” Wolf said in a statement. “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.”

Look, maybe Wolf really does have the best of intentions, but creating a procedural about violence inflicted on marginalized groups, especially one where the police are the heroes, at a time like this? The entire concept seems designed to provoke. Think about it: Are we really ready for a hypothetical, thinly veiled analogue to Unite the Right with special guest star Jesse Plemons wearing khakis and holding a tiki torch? I’m exhausted just imagining the resulting Twitter arguments .