Update: Variety reports that NBC is pushing the air date for its Trump-inspired episode of Law & Order: SVU back until after the election. NBC declined to comment on the record, but Variety sites sources making the decision "amid the extraordinary atmosphere of at least four women coming forward with stories of groping or sexual assault against the Republican nominee for president."
This story was originally published on October 12. Law & Order: SVU, a show about the prosecution of sex criminals, will feature an episode starring a character based on Donald Trump. The episode, called "Unstoppable," will include a character running for President who sees several women come forward with damaging claims against him. "Gary Cole stars as a character described by a source as a wealthy and boorish man who makes a run for the White House," Variety writes. "Aspects of the story were said to be inspired by the civil lawsuit pending against Trump, the Republican nominee for president, by a woman who alleges she was raped by Trump when she was 13 in the mid-1990s. Trump’s attorneys have vehemently died the allegations by the woman identified in court documents as Jane Doe." The case referred to in the description is of highly dubious merit, but the fact that several other allegations have come to light on Wednesday alone make the episode seem prescient. More prescient still is that the episode was slated to air as the first episode of the show's current season, which began September 21. Instead, the episode will air October 26. There are a variety of reasons for the delay. First, Trump is a public figure and a highly litigious one to boot. Any episode that could be based on him would need extraordinary vetting before it hit the air. Second, NBC has a longstanding relationship with Trump dating back to his days as the host of The Apprentice. Third, they may not have wanted to air an episode that could be perceived as politically motivated so close to the election. Ultimately, the conversation must have tipped at some point, because we'll get it two weeks from now. Of course, given the pace at which allegations emerge against Trump, it may seem tame at that point.