Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Mariska Hargitay will receive the Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Promise Award

From: variety.com


Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” star Mariska Hargitay will receive the Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Promise Award for spotlighting the plight of victims of abuse. Her award will be presented by Dick Wolf, the creator and producer of the show, during the Voices for Justice Annual Dinner at the Beverly Hilton on Nov. 13. On “SVU,” Hargitay portrays Olivia Benson, a detective who investigates sex crimes and often deals with issues around violence against women and children. Off the show, Hargitay founded the Joyful Heart Foundation to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

20 Years in the Making: A Television Legend

From: bcexcelsior.com
By Milette Millington 

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is not like any show on TV. In fact, it is the second longest running TV show on NBC. The cast for this season are former Detective and now Lieutenant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), former Detective and Benson’s second-in command Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (Ice-T), Detectives Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Dominick “Sonny” Carisi (Peter Scanavino), and Assistant District Attorney Peter Stone (Philip Winchester).

This show is a documentation of “sexually based offenses” that “are considered especially heinous,” as noted by the narrator at the beginning of each episode. By definition, sexually based offenses include rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, and assault.

The most recent example of sexual assault is found at the end of last season (“Remember Me/Remember Me Too”). In this episode, a young woman from Mexico takes a man hostage at gunpoint, and Benson tries to dissolve the situation. However, as the team investigates, they soon find out that she was subjected to certain sexual atrocities. The man who was taken at gunpoint ends up getting convicted.

This episode is directly connected to the #MeToo movement that has been going on since October of last year, when movie producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by multiple women.

Over 50 men in the political and entertainment industries have been accused of sexual offenses since then, including former U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team doctor Larry Nassar and “America’s TV Dad,” Bill Cosby. Sexual assault is also an emerging problem on college campuses.

Recently, Brooklyn College’s Associate Professor of Business Mitchell Langbert commented on the Brett Kavanaugh accusation by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault through a blog post, in the midst of Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.  The blog post featured this controversial quote: “If someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex.” He also called sexual assault “Spin-the-bottle activities.”

The root of the show is to provide victims and survivors of sexually traumatic experiences with a platform for them to share their stories. Making these experiences known allows them to gain confidence knowing that they are not the only ones who’ve had experiences of this nature, and it relieves them of an emotional burden that they’ve struggled to move on from. In addition, it advises people not to be afraid to speak up if something uncomfortable is happening to them. And that is what SVU aims to do.

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann List 6-Story N.Y.C. Townhouse for $11 Million—See Inside

From: people.com
October 17, 2018 01:09 PM

Mariska Hargitay and husband Peter Hermann are letting go of their New York City townhouse.
The Law and Order: SVU star put their 6-story brownstone on the market for $10.75 million. It’s listed with Corcoran’s Robby Browne, Chris Kann, Jennifer Ireland, and Stribling’s Alexa Lambert.

The couple, who share three children—daughter Amaya, 7, and sons August, 12, and Andrew, 6—purchased the home in 2012 for $10.7 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, who first reported the sale.

Spanning nearly 7,000 square feet, the home has six bedrooms, eight and a half bathrooms, an elevator, and towering ceilings throughout offering tons of natural light. Their eclectic, modern design style comes through in the bold yellow cabinetry in the kitchen and blue velvet covering on one of the staircases.


The master suite occupies the entire third floor of the home, and features a double walk-in closet, a dressing room with a small terrace, and a sprawling, marble-clad master bathroom with double sinks, a soaking tub and a steam shower.


On the fourth and fifth floors, the home features four additional bedrooms, including one that is designed like a boat captain’s paradise, with a ship-shaped bed and blue and orange sailboat wallpaper. In the center of the room, hangs a nautical rope chandelier. Two boat-shaped kites hang from the ceiling, framing the windows.


The ample outdoor space of the property is spread across two terraces, as well as a garden. There’s also a sunroom,and covered rooftop den that can double as a media room, office space or guest bedroom.


Mariska Hargitay Lists Colorful NYC Townhome for $10.75 Million

From: wsj.com

The ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ actress and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, are selling their Upper West Side residence

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star Mariska Hargitay and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, are listing their colorful townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for $10.75 million.

The roughly 7,000-square-foot house spans six levels and has five or six bedrooms depending on how it is configured. It has an elevator, double-height ceilings and a garden and sunroom with two terraces. The couple purchased the home for $10.7 million in 2012, property records show.
The 18-foot-wide home includes an aqua-blue staircase and an orange-yellow kitchen. One of the bedrooms, which belonged to the couple’s youngest son, has electric-blue window frames, orange sailboat wallpaper and a bed built to resemble a ship, the listing pictures show.

Robby Browne, one of the listing agents, said the listing team repainted the property and removed some of the color in advance of putting the property on the market. “I loved it, but when you’re going to be selling something, you have to pull it back a little so that it’s not specific,” he said. Alexa Lambert of Stribling & Associates, another of the listing agents, added that she thinks buyers will be pleasantly surprised by the yellow kitchen.

“Our house was loaded with color and vibrancy,” said Mr. Hermann in an email, noting that he and his wife worked with designer Jeffrey Bilhuber on the d├ęcor. “The kitchen is a great example, full of life.” Mr. Hermann said that he would especially miss a big chalkboard paint wall in the kitchen, where they chronicled their five years in the house.

Mr. Hermann said they are selling because their family’s needs have changed, but they would remain on the Upper West Side.

Ms. Hargitay plays detective Olivia Benson on the long-running prime time drama, tackling sexually based crimes, while Mr. Hermann stars on the television show “Younger.” He and Ms. Hargitay met when he began playing a defense attorney on her show, he said. They married in 2004, and have three children.

The listing team also includes Chris Kann and Jennifer Ireland of the Corcoran Group.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Things You Didn’t Know About Mariska Hargitay And Peter Hermann’s Relationship

From: fame10.com

Mariska Hargitay is one of TV’s most popular leading women after starring on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Olivia Benson for 20 seasons, yet she somehow manages to stay out of the spotlight. While it is easier for stars with non-famous partners to keep a low-profile in their personal lives, Hargitay is actually married to handsome actor Peter Hermann! The duo make for one incredible couple and after nearly 15 years of marriage they are just as strong as ever. Check out these things you didn’t know about the pair, their love story and their relationship now:

12. How They Met

Like quite a few other celebrity couples, Hargitay and Hermann met on set! After having previously appeared on Law & Order in 2000, Hermann joined Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2001 as defense attorney Trevor Langan. Although Hermann definitely noticed Hargitay, she approached him and tried to break the ice with a joke, which apparently didn’t go over very well. “He didn’t think I was funny,” she told InStyle. Meanwhile Hermann insists he was just trying to play it cool around the show’s leading lady.

11. Dating Disaster

Despite their rocky start, a romance sparked shortly after and the pair began dating, but one important date didn’t go as well as Hermann would have hoped. After a few months of dating, Hermann hoped to show Hargitay his Manhattan apartment, but his plan got derailed by rats! “When we were dating, I finally got up the courage to show her my apartment,” he recalled. “One night we were walking down 36th Street to my apartment. All of the sudden, there was this sound and it sounded like fingernails on glass. Then we looked down, and all of the sudden, the street was moving and it was a herd of rats.” He continued, “The only thing that I could say to the woman I loved, and whom I would eventually marry, was, ‘New York!’ She was like, ‘What is your problem?!’ She was terrified. Needless to say, that night I didn’t show her my apartment.”

10. The Engagement

After beginning to date in late 2001, the pair did not rush anything and dated for three years before Hermann finally popped the question. He proposed with a weathered platinum band set with nine round diamonds, designed by N.Y.C. jeweler Karen Karch for Push. Hermann chose the style because it was meant to symbolize that although he knew they would encounter hard times and rough patches as a couple, they would always make it through to happiness.

9. The Wedding

Only a few months after the engagement, the pair were married on August 28, 2004 at the Unitarian Historical Chapel in Santa Barbara. The ceremony was held in front of 200 guests and was organized by wedding planner Yifat Oren who said, “They’re mad about each other. And they’re hilariously funny together,” adding that their nuptials were “really magical” and “enchanting.” Hargitay wore a blush Carolina Herrera dress with fresh flowers in her hair and the couple were serenaded by a gospel choir singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” before everyone headed to Montecito for the reception. They celebrated with a 6 ft. tall bright orange, magenta and green cake with “M & P” on top.

8. Finding Love

Since Hargitay was 40 and Hermann was 37 when they tied the knot, the actress has opened up about waiting so long for marriage, revealing it was all because she knew Hermann was the one. “I had been engaged before, but what I felt for Peter I had never felt before — it was knowing that someone else put you first and that you put him first,” Hargitay said back in 2010. “A lot of people have doubts on their wedding day, but I was never so sure and happy. We were going into the unknown together and were taking care of each other the way you’re supposed to when you are married.”

7. Starting A Family

Following their 2004 wedding, both stars knew they wanted to become parents and in late 2005 Hargitay became pregnant with their first child. On June 28, 2006 they welcomed their son August Miklos Freidrich. “Nobody wanted to be pregnant more than me,” the actress said after welcoming her son. “From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants. My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just so excited.” The pregnancy wasn’t easy for the actress though. Because she was 42 at the time, it was considered a higher risk pregnancy and August ended up being born a week overdue via an emergency c-section weighing 10 lbs. 9 0z. because of Hargitay’s gestational diabetes. “This pregnancy was really hard for me at the end,” she said, adding that she had gained 54 pounds. “I wasn’t mobile.”

6. Expanding Their Family

Despite a difficult pregnancy and delivery with their son, both Hargitay and Hermann were excited to continue to expand their family, but unfortunately they faced problems becoming pregnant again. After their struggle, they decided to turn to adoption, which also proved to be a difficult and emotional process for the couple. “I’m not gonna lie,” she told Good Housekeeping in 2012. “There were wrenching moments. I say to everybody, ‘Adoption is not for the faint of heart,'” but added that it was definitely “worth the fight.” After having their hearts broken when a couple of their adoptions fell through, things changed for the family big time in 2011. In April, 2011, the pair adopted Amaya Josephine right from birth and only six months later adopted a baby boy, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann, in October who was only a few months old at the time. Hargitay explained that soon after the birth of Amaya the pair quickly refiled to adopt again anticipating there would be a wait like before, but instead they were approved immediately and received word on Andrew in no-time.  “It was a no-brainer,” Hargitay explained. “It was like…a miracle. And I don’t use that word lightly. I’ve never made a bigger decision so quickly.” “August thinks this was all his idea!” she also revealed. “He said, ‘I want a baby sister,’ and Amaya came. Then he said, ‘I want a baby brother,’ and Andrew came. August is feeling pretty good and pretty powerful!”

5. Their Religion Is Key

Although Hargitay admitted that things didn’t get off to a great start when her joke fell flat with Hermann, things between them changed quickly over one conversation about their faith. After a very deep discussion about their faith and religion, it was Hermann who suggested that they should attend a service at his church together, and that is when things in their relationship became much more serious. “I just about passed out when I saw him there. I thought, ‘That’s my husband,'” Hargitay said of the importance of their church “date.” After finding such a strong common ground with their Christian faith, the pair knows that it is a keystone of their relationship. “It was pretty sacred and profound in our life,” she said. “It completely set the tone for our relationship and our marriage.”

4. Multilingual

There is no denying that both Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann are talented, but it turns out their skills go beyond acting. Since both stars are multilingual, they are raising their children to be the same and it is truly impressive. For the first 10 years of his life Hermann lived in Germany and he only learned English after his family returned to the States. “I think I got in right under the wire: Language patterns solidify at 10, 11, 12, so I was able to learn English fairly easily, with no accent. I didn’t do speech or vocal work to get rid of the German accent; I was just lucky.” He added that German is a very active language in his house and he was working on teaching it to August, and now Amaya and Andrew as well. Meanwhile Hargitay doesn’t speak German, but is fluent in Hungarian, Italian and French, and together the two stars are ensuring their children are multilingual.

3. Marriage Secret

Like with any lasting marriage, the couple always gets asked what their secret to happiness and a successful marriage is, and sometimes there is no secret and that is exactly what Hargitay and Hermann will say. Instead it comes down to putting in the work and commitment. “There is no secret,” Hermann told Entertainment Tonight. “We’re all just working through it—whether it’s a relationship that exists in the public eye to some degree or doesn’t. Our son plays basketball, and his coach says, ‘Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals,’ and I think when it comes to relationships, the fundamentals, in the end, are not that complicated.” He added, “That doesn’t mean that they’re easy, but they’re not that complicated. It’s fundamentals—kindness, listen well, fight fair.” Hargitay added in a separate interview that being honest and listening is what has made their relationship so strong. “We’ve said really honest things to each other — about how we feel and what we want — and I’ve thought for sure we were going to break up. And then we laugh, we can make a joke about what we talk about, and it becomes a part of the repertoire of the relationship. It’s not this secret you carry anymore. We have it out in the open. It dissipates any bad feelings, because you know the person heard you and it registered,” she revealed.

2. Making Time

While the pair insists they don’t have a secret to making their marriage work for well over a decade, they did reveal that when it comes to both being actors with very different schedules, they have had to make rules for their relationship. The biggest one is that they never spend any more than two weeks apart from each other because after that they feel they would start living separate lives. “I don’t always know what he’s thinking, but we want the same things. We trust that the other person wants what we want and share the same values. That’s our gift. Even if we don’t talk all day, we are connected.” Hargitay added that while they don’t necessarily cut out time for “date night” what is most important is total family time.

1. Opposites Attract

When it comes to Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay’s marriage and family, things seem perfect, but of course nobody’s life is perfect, and the pair are a classic case of opposites attract. The actress said they balance each other out, “I bring him out, he brings me in; he slows me down, I make him go faster,” she explained before adding that they are “really different” which can make some things difficult.  “Sometimes we want to do really different things, and that is hard to navigate. We have to sit down and figure out how to carve this time out for you and this for me, because we need both. That’s just the way we are, so let’s just make peace with it.”

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Mariska Hargitay and 'SVU': The Stories Were Always There

From: easthamptonstar.com
By: Jennifer Landes

With raucous and appreciative reactions, several hundred fans gathered at the Tribeca TV Festival to celebrate the premiere of the 20th season of “Law and Order: SVU” on Sept. 20. The show stars Mariska Hargitay, a part-time resident of East Hampton Village who also directs some episodes.

The event included a preview of the season opener, which aired on television last Thursday, and a discussion with the stars of the show and Dick Wolf, the producer and founder of the “Law and Order” franchise.

After introducing the cast, Savannah Sellers, an NBC News correspondent, noted that the show has now tied the record for longest running live-action series with “Gunsmoke,” which began in 1955. It is on track to become the record holder, given the enthusiasm of the crowd and the suggestion by Mr. Wolf that another season was likely. “Every year is a potential funeral,” he said during the panel. “Nobody had a goal for exceeding 20 seasons, but that will happen.”

One of the reasons the show has such staying power is that it was the first series to devote its entire focus to sexual assault, a topic that was once considered taboo, even 20 years ago. And now, in the moment of #MeToo, its relevance cannot be overstated.

As a founding star of the show, playing Olivia Benson, a special victims unit detective, Mr. Wolf called Ms. Hargitay “the grandmother of the #MeToo movement.”

“Grandmother?” Ms. Hargitay replied, taking mock offense. “Would a grandmother wear these shoes?” she said, lifting a foot to show her Christian Louboutin stilettos to the crowd.

All joking aside, she said she was “grateful that we have brought something that has been traditionally swept under the carpet, something that has left survivors in shame and isolation” to “the public arena in a way that benefits profound healing. To tell these stories has been nothing but a privilege and a gift.”

Having been with the show for so long has also made her aware of other ways victims of assault have been underserved by law enforcement. When in 2009 she found out about the tens of thousands of rape kits that are never tested in this country, she and Mr. Wolf met with the show’s writers. The result was a 2010 series episode that fictionalized one woman’s real 13-year struggle to get the DNA in her kit tested. “All of a sudden, everyone knew about the rape kit backlog,” said Mr. Wolf.

Yet, Ms. Hargitay took it a step further, producing “I Am Evidence,” a film highlighting the stories of four victims and their struggles to have their kits tested and to be heard by the criminal justice system. The film was shown at the Hamptons International Film Festival and other festivals last year. (HIFF will host a free talk on tomorrow morning at Rowdy Hall about how filmmakers should present stories emerging from the #MeToo movement. There are also a number of films in the schedule addressing the theme of abuse and assault.).

It also led to legislation, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, passed by Congress in 2014 that provides grants to process the kits and end the backlog. To Ms. Hargitay, the backlog is “the perfect way to measure the fact that sexual assault isn’t a priority” in our society, even though it is a public safety issue.

The film was her latest effort, but in 2004 she started the Joyful Heart Foundation as a response to the shocking statistics she was seeing in her research on sexual assault and the letters from victims she received describing the suffering they had endured. The foundation began as a retreat in Hawaii that offered a place for healing from these traumas, but it has also served as a support mechanism for all of the advocacy efforts previously mentioned and public awareness campaigns that clearly helped encourage women to share their stories of abuse at home and in the workplace more recently.

“The stories were always there, people are just talking about it more,” she said, noting that the statistics have not changed since 1999. “Dick started the show before people were talking about it. That’s the brilliance of it, the fact that it’s more relevant now than ever.”

She said the show had “dealt beautifully with issues that need to be in the consciousness, like consent.” It also consistently presents “the neurobiology of trauma, which is something that is widely, widely misunderstood.” When women fail to come forward to accuse their attackers, she said, it is a result of their trauma, which “is deeply disorganizing. It scrambles the brain and fragments memories.” It is something law enforcement and society at large has yet to understand fully, and something that has been very much in the news lately.

“We’ve tried to explain things from a survivor’s point of view, a voice that traditionally has not been loud enough, a voice that’s been deeply, deeply compromised,” Ms. Hargitay said.

“This role changed my life in so many ways,” she said, thanking Mr. Wolf. “One of the things I’ve heard over the 20 years is ‘I wish you were the detectives on my case.’ And I think most survivors would want to have them on their case in the way they’re dealt with,” treating their reports with trust and respect.

“Our show in many ways is an ideal unit of how we wish sexual assault and domestic violence was met in the world. Survivors are believed, period,” she said to applause.

Monday, October 1, 2018

For Some Assault Survivors, Law & Order SVU Is Surprisingly Healing

From: instyle.com
By Allie Volpe

On Sept. 27, just hours after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while she was in high school, Sergeant Olivia Benson took on a case of her own during the season premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Though fictional, the plot felt familiar: Men in positions of power must present strength in any way they can, and victims need people to advocate for them.

These ideas — toxic masculinity, privilege, power — are often at the heart of SVU, Dick Wolf’s long-running police procedural about the special division of the NYPD that investigates sex crimes.

Lieutenant Olivia Benson is played by Mariska Hargitay, and her character is a steadfast supporter of survivors of sexual assault. Over the last two decades, Benson and the other SVU detectives have been allies, confidantes, and unflinching mentors to the hundreds of victims who walked through the police station doors. Benson is a voice for the the kind of victim that is often discredited in real life; imperfect, impaired, mentally ill, and without hard evidence. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, where allegations of sexual abuse filter into the news almost daily, SVU is a hopeful juxtaposition to reality, a fantasy of what could happen, both when the justice system works, and when someone actually believes you. That narrative can be instrumental to real survivors watching the show.

When SVU premiered in 1999, societal discourse around sexual misconduct, domestic violence, and power imbalances lacked nuance and care; public disclosures and allegations were not as rampant. SVU was a show that illuminated the complexities of these cases — and within the last year, the country began to see them play out in a tangible, woefully non-fictional way. Between the Harvey Weinstein allegations, Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, and the recent allegations against Kavanaugh, each day’s headlines feel more in line with SVU subplots instead of the other way around; the show is known for its “ripped from the headlines” storylines.
Despite the overwhelming number of sexual abuse stories recently come to light — and the increasingly blurred lines between dramatized television and reality —  for some viewers, Law & Order: SVU is just as vital in 2018 as the day it first aired 20 seasons earlier, showing an optimistic view of investigators who tirelessly work to see justice done. Especially poignant now, nearly a year following start of #MeToo, the show provides solace in escapism, a place where the bad guys go down.

Before on-campus fraternity assaults and the term “gang rape” were a part of the popular vernacular, SVU served as a cultural entry point into the minutiae of sex crimes, their investigations, and court trials. Kate, a 36-year-old SVU fan who declined to share her last name, says this created the “Olivia Benson generation” — viewers who came of age watching the show, and are now adults with an understanding of and compassion for the ways trauma can manifest in survivors.

As one of the moderators of the popular Twitter account @SVU_Diehards, a curated mix of fan retweets, updates about the show and its actors, and commentary, Kate has become one of the most authoritative voices in the SVU fan community. Over time, survivors who watched the show felt comfortable disclosing to her their assaults. She’s frustrated, she says, to know there aren’t many avenues for survivors to speak to a trustworthy source and to feel advocated for, but Benson’s role as a champion, albeit fictional, brings hope.

“I know SVU is still an escape for survivors,” Kate says. “Benson is the voice of survivors who they never had, a cop they could trust. [SVU is] a show where victims are believed and crimes are investigated. It’s a fantasy of what should happen, not what is happening in the world right now.”
If Benson can’t advocate on behalf of victims, her real-life counterpart can. Hargitay herself has proven a champion for survivors through her Joyful Heart Foundation, which provides resources to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. The tenacity of show’s characters have bled into the actors’ missions, a fact fans of the show see as proof of the show’s impact.

Megan Geertson, a Dick Wolf universe fan, finds SVU more resonant than ever. As the news became focused on cases of sexual assault — from the accusations against the president, to comedian Louis C.K. — the show is a “reminder that not all law enforcement is bad and that there are people in positions of power who still want to help,” the 30-year-old New Yorker says.

Power imbalances lay at the core of SVU’s storylines, whether between a boss and an employee, a husband and a wife, or a trafficker and victim, and the detectives on the show aim to level the playing field. As powerful men accused of harassment are staging comebacks in real life, Benson and company create safe environments for the disenfranchised where the perpetrator can’t bounce back. Instead, the show just ends; the victim forever frozen as a victor.

A central focus of this fantasy is the notion that survivors are believed — believed regardless of what they were wearing or how much they’d had to drink. Though the show does portray false accusations, the detectives carefully investigate each complaint. But in the real world, when allegations are easily dismissed by powerful figures, and such dismissals are publicized, how can viewers remain hopeful the same care would be carried out in actual assault cases?

When Sam Roberts, a survivor of sexual assault, watches the show, she feels like Olivia Benson  is speaking directly to her. Roberts says she felt internalized shame and never reported the incident. SVU became a silent ally.

“As somebody who had never really spoken about it, I never had anyone tell me it’s not your fault,” she, says. “Having that avatar through Benson was incredibly transformative.” Roberts says the show acts as a form of “wish fulfillment,” contrary to the news. Kate of @SVU_Diehards mentions SVU’s effectiveness at being a justice surrogate for some victims “because they didn’t [have justice] in their own lives.”

Still, Kate has friends who have experienced sexual assault and had to create distance from the fictional Special Victims Unit for their own wellbeing.

“Every morning, I wake up and see what's happening in America, and every day it seems like there’s a new man … outed as being despicable,” she says. “So you go to SVU to escape and see these people get justice. I’ve spoken to some friends, how they have to pull away from the show because of the news because it’s constant.”

Though SVU has provided an outlet for Roberts as recently as last season, the tenor of the news during the Kavanaugh hearing left a bitter taste in her mouth: she has no plans to watch new episodes.
“I’m not ready to go back to that escape yet because it feels so far away,” Roberts says. “The fantasy that SVU sells feels further away than it has in a really long time.”

Jordan Cooper, another SVU fan, sees the turbulent news cycle as providing continued opportunities for the show to educate the masses on the complicated issues dominating headlines. Cooper believes that storylines inspired by powerful men in entertainment like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein would serve audiences well, even though it draws from real people’s pain. Despite the lack of closure survivors are afforded in real life, he takes solace in morality emerging victorious somewhere, even if it is an alternate universe.

“It makes you feel like someone’s listening, somebody cares, somebody's listening to what’s happening,” he says. “Even if it’s a fictional show, watching it makes me feel better.”

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