Law & Order: SVU Rihanna and Chris Brown Episode – Dodgy Ground But No Laws Broken
Have Law and Order crossed the line with their Rihanna and Chris Brown inspired episode?
There’s no doubt the storyline and characters in Law & Order are based on Rihanna and Chris Brown’s turbulent relationship over the past few years, even though Caleb Bryant actually kills Riha- sorry, Misha.
But does Chris Brown, if he wanted to take things to court, have a case against the show for portraying him as a murderer? Not according to Maryland publishing attorney Daniel Steven. “There is a different standard for public figures vs. individuals,” Steven said. “The public figures have less rights,” he continued to the IBTimes, explaining that this is an extension of First Amendment freedoms allowing journalists to publicly criticize high-profile individuals. Plus, and we think this is an important point: Rihanna is very much still alive. "If you throw in some fictional elements into a story you are protected," said Andrew Berger, a New York attorney who specializes in intellectual property and trademark law. “That is exactly what people do in these situations. … They change the story so it doesn’t look like a slavish copy of the truth.”
Troubled lovers - Rihanna and Chris Brown
Tiffany Robinson opened up to MTV on the domestic violence episode. "They really pushed it so that we can really look at the seriousness of it," Robinson said. "I felt like they drove it home even more. They kept it real, and they went there, regardless of what controversy it would bring. It was about telling the truth. Originally when I saw it, they hadn't ended it that way. This is what happens [in abusive relationships] when we look at the numbers. This is usually where it ends up."
The fact is, shows like Law & Order will always have to reflect the social context of their times. Dramatizations of controversial real-life events are rife on TV, it just so happens that Chris Brown and Rihanna are A-list celebs. It’s not as if the extra exposure and marketing will do the show any harm, either…