“Yank it!” Law and Order: SVU FCC Complaints

“Man shouts ‘You had sex with a prostitute!’ (Plus suggestive images, loose clothes, etc.)”

Written by Emily Hopkins
Edited by JPat Brown

For 17 seasons, Dick Wolf and co. have captivated the nation with their sexual violence specialized Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, featuring stories of New York City’s elite squad investigate these “especially heinous” crimes. Like other parts of the L&O franchise, SVU is known for their statedly fictional stories being ripped more or less straight from the headlines of major news events.

And just as Law & Order has its fingers on the pulse of the nation’s current events, FCC complaints reflect a certain status of the nation’s psyche. When it comes to SVU, fans are not concerned with the extremely graphic depictions and descriptions of rape and sexual assault on the show. No, the real evil here is Joe Boxer.

Why America is so scared of sex, I’ll never quite understand, especially since violence is honestly just so much scarier — and more avoidable. But as it stands, we live in a country that is much more offended by things up a sexual nature than they are with blood and bodies.

One person, who filed multiple complaints over the three years the MuckRock received docs for, has taken up the crusade against the word “bitch.”

Even her husband is offended by such a word. How can they enjoy the rehashing of just-fictional-enough storylines of women being stalked, assaulted, raped and killed when they have to keep hearing such vile linguistic filth?

Overall, it seems, no time of day or night is appropriate for rough language or suggestive crotch grabs. Not even 3 a.m. sex toy ads can catch a break.

For an armchair sociologist like myself, I can’t help but be discouraged by the target of the complaints.

Surely we should be having a more robust conversation about gendered violence - in and out of FCC complaints - in a way that engages the physical danger women face every day. And can we at least agree that, in 2016, sex is okay and people are having it.

And with that, I’ll let you get back to your regular scheduled programming.

Read the full complaints embedded below, or on the request page.


This piece is part of Must-Seethe TV: The FCC Complaints Project

Image via Wikimedia Commons