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The Controversial Donald Trump Episode Law & Order Had To Cut

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has never shied away from drawing inspiration from real-life cases. In fact, the long-running police procedural drama came to be because creator Dick Wolf was fascinated with the 1986 Preppy Killer case. The show, which focuses on investigating sex-based crimes, frequently takes a "ripped from the headlines" approach in its storytelling.

Since its premiere in 1999, "SVU" has tackled various high-profile cases, from the Casey Anthony trial in 2011 to the 2014 Isla Vista killings. The show has also been inspired by controversies and allegations made against public figures like Jeffrey Epstein, Chris Brown, and Michael Jackson.

"SVU" has no qualms about exploring timely subjects, and NBC has only cut one topical episode of the series: "Unstoppable." The Season 18 episode was inspired by former President Donald Trump and was initially set to air in October 2016. However, the episode faced several setbacks and was ultimately shelved by NBC.

Here's why the controversial episode never aired.

SVU's Trump-inspired episode had too many setbacks

"Unstoppable" was set to be the second episode of Season 18 of "Law & Order: SVU," but faced several scheduling conflicts in addition to concerns from NBC about finding the right time to air what would inevitably be a contentious episode (per TVLine).

As Deadline explains, the "SVU" episode was initially set to air on October 12, but was "pushed to October 26 and then postponed until after the elections and slated for November 16 amid sexual harassment and assault allegations against Trump by multiple women following the October 7 release of the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump made lewd comments about groping women to Billy Bush."

Then, NBC once again postponed the episode to air reruns of "SVU" and "Chicago P.D." since most viewers would be tuning in to Game 7 of the World Series on Fox earlier in the month (via Deadline). After three failed attempts to schedule the episode, during which Trump unexpectedly won the presidency and further complicated the decision to air the episode, NBC appears to have shelved it permanently.

Although "SVU" fans will likely never see "Unstoppable," Deadline explains that it follows Gary Cole as a "Trump-esque character" whose political campaign "might be thwarted by a woman who accuses him of raping her."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).