Law and Order SVU Puts its Spin on the Belle Knox Story

Cliché Alert: Law and Order SVU Puts its ‘Ripped from the Headlines’ Spin on the Belle Knox Story

by Calico Rudasill at Porn For Women.

Just what the world needed, and just in time: A Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode loosely based on the saga of Belle Knox.

Now, to be fair, I haven’t seen the episode, but I have watched the show a few times, which means that for all intents and purposes, I’ve seen every episode of Law and Order SVU, because the show is so laughably predictable, so cliché and so hackneyed that you can pretty much write the whole episode in your head given just the barest outline of the episode’s topic or theme.

Belle Knox

Does the episode involve a rape victim who is an illegal alien? Spoiler alert: Her boss did it.

Read on…

It doesn’t matter whether her boss is a detestable sweatshop owner, some Average Joe father of three with no criminal record who now for some reason suddenly spends his afternoons raping the Guatemalan maid, or a nice-seeming guy who just couldn’t handle having his amorous advances rejected by a woman who he single-handedly saved from the horrors of the Third World, he’s guilty. Case closed!

All I know about the Belle Knox episode is what NBC revealed the day before it aired: “In Wednesday’s episode of NBC’s crime-drama, a college student is sexually assaulted by men who discover she’s been shooting porn to cover tuition.”

That’s not quite what happened with the real Belle Knox, of course, but without some manner of heinous, stomach-churning crime in the mix, it’s simply not an episode of SVU. Plus, you can’t very well do a show about the SVU cops showing up on a college campus to lecture students about the evils of slut-shaming; that’s just not over-the-top-exploitative enough, and it would fail to provide the requisite dirt-cheap, pathos-driven tug at your heartstrings that SVU fans have come to expect!

Knox, evidently, is a fan of the show. Prior to its airing, she told ABC News Radio that she was eager to see the episode.

“I think that this will be a really good episode in terms of raising awareness about… sexual assault on college campuses,” Knox said. “I haven’t seen it, but the central theme I think they’re trying to get at is that just because a woman is sexual or promiscuous, doesn’t give anybody the right to sexually assault her or violate her.”

If that is indeed the central theme of the episode, then a small degree of kudos is due to SVU producers for taking that stance – but I have a feeling that they won’t be able to resist taking some cheap shots at Belle Knox’s career choice, as well.

I’ve seen several episodes from various different branches of the Law and Order franchise that involved the adult industry, and there’s one thing that has been entirely consistent: Adult company owners and managers are depicted as abject scumbags who consider the performers who work for them to be property, and who certainly don’t give a furry little rat’s ass whether the girls in their movies live, die, get raped, commit murder, spontaneously combust, or run off and join ISIS.

Accordingly, I expect that this upcoming episode of SVU will depict the student/porn star character in a way that’s relatively sympathetic, while essentially saying she’s been twice victimized; once by her rapist, and before that, by the freakishly sleazy porn producer for whom she works. I’d put the odds at 50/50 that the scumbag porn producer will also be her (much older) boyfriend, and that he’ll start out as the prime suspect, despite the student/porn star’s protestations that he “loves me and would never hurt me.”

By the way, immediately after the student/porn star character delivers the line saying that her physically and verbally abusive lover would never hurt her, the scumbag manager/boyfriend/pimp will enter stage left, with his shirt unbuttoned to his navel and a giant gold chain around his neck, and yell something like “Jenny! We need you on set now, honey. No more flirting with Mr. Policeman; you have work to do…. slut.”

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this episode of SVU didn’t feature a subplot focused on how god-awful it is to be a porn star. Maybe the sole emphasis really was on how fucked up it is for guys to think that just because a woman works in porn, that means she walks around actively “wanting it” (or worse, deserving it) throughout her every waking moment.

One thing I do know for sure: Even though I missed its debut, I’ll have at least 4,378,534 more opportunities to see this episode in syndication on USA Network alone – a channel that is currently running back-to-back episodes of SVU in a marathon that appears to have begun in 2006….


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