I have taken some serious issue with Law & Order: SVU in the past. And yet because of the show’s past fucked-up idiosyncrasies, I was unsurprised to hear that they had completely overlooked the Mike Tyson rape case of 1992 wherein Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington, then 18, was sexually assaulted by Tyson and pressed charges. He was convicted by a jury and sentenced to six years in prison (he served three), and now he is on a television show that supposedly shows the horrors of rape.
The episode, which airs tomorrow evening on USA, will feature Tyson as a murderer on death row who supposedly had a terrible childhood. Here, check out the preview:
The fact that Tyson still has launch parties, still attends red carpet events, still has actual fans all revolts me in the same way that Chris Brown’s presence and prestige does. You know, as much as people like Lindsay Lohan sound like terrible people to work with, she hasn’t done anything like rape another human being, yet innumerable people have publicly criticized her behavior and she has allegedly been rejected from more than a few awards shows and festivals. Yet you can actually sexually harm somebody, in Tyson’s case, and celebrities will still attend the parties for your organizations (seriously, the photo above is from the launch of his “Mike Tyson Cares Foundation” at a lounge in Las Vegas).
To have him portrayed as a sympathetic murderer is a bit more than I can stand, and yet I’m not all that surprised. I have a feeling that Tyson’s publicist believed this was some way to garner a better image of the boxer — who once made a teenager feel as though she was being “ripped apart” while raping her — by making people think, Hey, if this character is so likable and had such a shitty childhood, maybe Tyson did, too. So Law & Order: SVU is doing exactly what they always do here: sacrificing what little integrity the show has to garner a cheap ratings boost using an “actor” whose eyes you can practically hear craning towards the camera in every shot to play a killer. I expect an episode featuring the kids from Steubenville will be on the network in 15 or so years, because surely that would real in some viewers, right?
Photo: DJDM / WENN.com