The NBC show, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” will target Catholic priests in its season finale on May 17.  The episode, “Silence,” features a senior priest involved in pedophilia and a subsequent diocesan coverup.  Catholic League president William Donohue delivered the following remarks today:

“The episode of ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ that will air Friday night was scheduled to run in September, but recent events in the Catholic Church, coupled with the frenzy over the May sweeps, pushed NBC to strike now.  It has also been said that the show delights in ‘ripping from today’s headlines,’ hence the decision to go with the pedophile priest-church coverup episode.  This interpretation, plausible on the face of it, is widely held among Hollywood observers.  It is also wrong.

“Last Sunday, the Washington Post ran a lengthy story detailing how out-of-control gays in San Francisco have become.  Here’s what was reported: ‘More gay men are engaging in risky sex.  Cases of venereal disease and HIV infection are soaring.  And pleas for caution are being ignored.’  And just last month, New York Magazine reported on the recent explosion of sex clubs in gay neighborhoods, as well as the ‘epidemic’ use of the deadly drug, crystal-meth, among gays.  Now wouldn’t these recent events—‘ripped from today’s headlines’—make for a great episode of ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’?

“The executive producer of the show is Dick Wolf.  He is not an insensitive man.  Indeed, he once made a movie, ‘School Ties,’ that took direct aim at anti-Semitism.  And he has said he would never do a show on teenage suicide or one that exploited the events of 9-11.  Nor will he ever do one on gay bathhouses and AIDS.  But when it comes to Catholic priests, Wolf’s sensitivity ends.”

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