Fox News hosts decried a Law & Order SVU plotline that never happened

Jesse Watters claimed an episode of the TV show was “pro-rape.” It appears he didn’t finish the episode.

On the January 30 edition of his prime-time show, Fox News host Jesse Watters accused NBC’s Law and Order SVU of “prioritiz[ing] social justice over actual justice” after an episode of the show acknowledged systemic inequities Black individuals face in the criminal justice system.

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Citation From the January 30, 2024, edition of Fox News' Jesse Watters Primetime 

While Watters admitted that he had “not seen many Law & Order episodes," he should probably start with finishing the episode his segment focused on.

Watters summarized the episode, explaining a rape victim was resiting testifying against her rapist because “the white lesbian rape victim is worried that her young Black rapist won't receive a fair trial because the criminal justice system is racist."

After the show’s protagonist Olivia Benson told the victim she thought not testifying was the “wrong thing for the right reason” and that the rapist deserved to be held accountable because “he saw a chance to victimize you and he took it,” the victim ultimately testified and the rapist was granted a plea deal. Watters’ audience wouldn’t know this, however, because he cut the clip off, and he failed to disclose the conclusion of the episode.

Instead, he accused NBC of “conditioning this audience, now, on how to be a good little rape victim” and “social justice engineering on the country’s top crime drama."

The next day, Fox’s Dana Perino brought the same misinformed indignation to The Five as she and her co-hosts attacked “Law & Order: Special Woke Unit” for pushing a “social justice narrative.” Co-host Jeanine Pirro complained “this is what happens when you only see color and not the reality of life” and declared the episode was “a bad lesson.”

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Citation From the January 31, 2024, edition of Fox News' The Five

Greg Gutfeld even seemed to unintentionally catch his co-hosts in the lie when he asked if they had seen the episode and if other characters were “critical” of the woman’s hesitation. Perino falsely responded, “No, they were like – they understand,” ignoring Benson’s pushback against the victim. Gutfeld responded, “Oh well that’s crazy.” Watters added that the show constituted a “pro-rape episode on NBC."

Amid the outrage, the co-hosts failed to mention that the same characters who recognized systemic racism also encouraged the victim to hold her rapist accountable. Their omission proved necessary, as exposing the plotline would be signaling that their outrage was based in another baseless culture war, rather than a miscarriage of justice.