In an overt nod to the continued liberal outcry about North Carolina's House Bill 2, Law and Order: SVU took up the transgender cause once again on Wednesday in the episode “Broken Rhymes” by depicting an innocent male to female transgender getting brutally beaten and raped in a public restroom.
When the lone witnesses are questioned, the mother clearly doesn't want to get involved and tries to keep her ten-year-old daughter from speaking to the police. When Detective Olivia Benson sarcastically thanks the mother for "being so cooperative," she snaps back, “It was just a matter of time before something like this happened. Everyone had to make such a big fuss over this transgender issue. Why can't people use the damn bathroom they were born to use? Is that really so hard?” The implication is clear: the mother is a heartless bigot who doesn't care about the victim at all because "she" is transgender.
Ultimately, the victim, Eric Carson (who goes by Eva), dies in the hospital. As the investigation continues, we learn that the transgender woman was murdered by an up-and-coming rap artist's producer because she threatened to derail his career. Eva and the rapper Hype had been secretly dating and were on the verge of taking their relationship public.
In an echo of ABC's Nashville, which routinely portrayed country music fans as anti-gay bigots, viewers are told that if the rap audience found out about Hype's relationship with a transgender, they would stop listening to his music. Once again, we're told these fictional fans care more about an artist’s personal life than the music he produces. Law and Order: SVU should at least try to be a little more original.
The group complains about their relatives' views towards transgenders, but Fin admits, "This whole gender fluidity thing is coming out more nowadays, and that's cool, but the truth is it's confusing, and a lot of people can't make sense of it all. Me included."
For the show that's all about "ripping stories from the headlines," with a focus on sexual crimes, it's interesting that they haven't done a single episode on perverted men abusing bathroom or changing room policies at stores like Target to record and assault women. I guess those stories just don't fit with the narrative the writers want to push. Instead, they seem to think it's more plausible a rap mogul would order a vicious hit to protect his brand from bigoted rap fans.