Straight off the front page, indeed! Ice-T opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about which ripped-from-the-headlines story lines fans can expect during season 21 of Law & Order: SVU.
“I mean, I don’t know what I can say,” the 61-year-old actor teased at History Is Made: Law & Order: SVU Celebrates a Milestone at The Paley Center for Media on Wednesday, September 25. “I can give you some hints.”
He went on to admit that “Empire-ish drama” would find its way into an upcoming episode.
Jussie Smollett incited controversy in January when he claimed that two men attacked him in a “possible hate crime.” The actor, 37, later lost his role on the Fox drama after police alleged that he staged the incident, which he denied. All charges against him were dropped in March.
Before the Empire-inspired episode airs, however, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Fin Tutuola (Ice-T), Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino) will have to adjust to major shifts in their day-to-day following the Thursday, September 26, premiere of SVU.
“Welcome to the DA’s office, District Attorney Sonny Carisi,” showrunner Warren Leight told Us on Wednesday. “We’ll be looking out for some new blood in the squadron over time, and I think a lot of changes in the dynamic. It’s one thing when you work for lieutenant, now Captain Benson at the end of this episode. It’s another thing when you now go to the DA’s office and technically you are in charge of her in some ways.”
Executive producer Julie Martin noted: “Everyone is reevaluating their jobs.”
As Leight put it, “It’s been a long run for them, for which we are all very grateful. At some point in the season, every character will get tested.”
In regards to story lines inspired by true events, there is also the matter of the episode focused on a Donald Trump-esque politician, which was shelved in November 2016. “I would be very surprised,” Leight said when asked if the hour would ever air.
Ice-T assured Us the episode is “good.” However, the fictional bit became too realistic, according to the rapper. “Life imitated art,” he explained, adding: “On the news, it just started to happen and it just got too close, and I guess NBC was just like, ‘Whoa.’”
Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Nikaline McCarely