While speaking on The Hollywood Reporter "TV's Top 5" podcaston Friday, series showrunner Warren Leight explained his plans on how the show will tackle the protests against racial injustice and police brutality currently taking place nationwide, revealing it all "has to come up and it will."
"There are ways, we will find our way in to tell the story," he shared. "Presumably our cops will still be trying to do the right thing but it's going to be harder for them and they're going to understand why it's hard for them."
While Leight said that "SVU" has "tried really hard in the last year to show how class and race affect the outcomes of justice in society," he admitted that he's "beginning to suspect 'really hard' wasn't enough."
The executive producer shared they will be making an "effort" to diversify the writers' room "to bring in new voices, fresh voices, different voices."
"This has to be a moment where people make themselves uncomfortable -- where people in power have to make themselves uncomfortable," he added.
However, Leight explained how the show, which aired its Season 21 finale back in April, "can't make every episode about a bad cop."
"Olivia [Mariska Hargitay] makes mistakes, but she's empathic, which is I think what separates the cops on our television show from a lot of what we're seeing these days on our livestreams," he continued. "I've been made uncomfortable by a number of shows that glorify the use of violence in interrogation or the use of threat."
When asked whether Leight believes cops are portrayed "too positively" on TV, he said, "Collectively? Yes. Individually, am I miscontributing to society? I don't know. Collectively, are we? Yeah."
"I think that the audience is sophisticated enough to know that this is not the day-to-day reality [in policing sexual assault]," he later added. "I think people wish it were more like [it is on 'SVU']. I think I wish it were more like this."
Leight's interview comes while the country continues to protest over the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died while a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.
Video captured Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck while he died, igniting outrage across the globe. Floyd was unresponsive when paramedics arrived and was later pronounced dead.
Chauvin now faces a second-degree murder charge and the three cops with him -- Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Kieran Lane -- have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four disgraced police officers face up to 40 years behind bars.
The state of Minnesota filed a civil rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday. According to Governor Tim Walz, the investigation will look into Floyd's death as well as the "department's policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years to determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices."