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How Peter Scanavino Really Feels About The Law & Order Fan Hate

It can be tough for fans to accept change from a long-running television series. After so long, people become set in their ways, so when a new character comes along who messes with the dynamic, it can throw some viewers for a loop. That was the case with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Season 16 when Dominick "Sonny" Carisi Jr. (Peter Scanavino) came into the fold. At first, the character appears to serve as a temporary replacement for Detective Amaro (Danny Pino) when he's reassigned to Queens. But after a few episodes, it was clear Carisi was here to stay, and some fans had thoughts to share on the new addition.

It makes sense when you consider how he was introduced. He had a brash, insensitive attitude, especially during his first meeting with Sergeant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). However, over time, he eases up a bit on the uncompromising attitude and soon earns the respect of his fellow colleagues. Still, there were definitely some growing pains, and actor Peter Scanavino has spoken out about what it was like to hear fans' reactions to his character when he joined the team.

Peter Scanavino says 'you can't get bogged down' in negative reactions

Thanks to social media, anyone can let their opinions known to the masses, and if you have a particular hatred for yourself, you can look up what people think about you at the touch of a button. In an era where comment sections have the power to destroy your soul, you have to be careful when wading in those online waters. Apparently, Peter Scanavino didn't get the memo, and he searched through what some fans had to say about him online. 

He spoke about the experience to The Hollywood Reporter and how he handled getting hazed as the new guy on the block. He stated, "It was my first TV show, but I've also done a lot of plays and I've been panned in plays, but you don't let it affect you. You can't get bogged down in that. You have to bet on yourself, bet that what you're doing is good. Even if that turns out not to be good, at least you know that you did what you wanted to do and you didn't let somebody's opinion of you guide you."

Fortunately, those kinds of reactions were in short supply. As time went on, fans seemed to have warmed up to Carisi. He went on to describe the episode where things started to turn around: "In an episode called 'Glasgowman's Wrath,' where there was a mentally unstable person who we thought could possibly be the killer and I was able to talk to him and relate to him and I had some very tender scenes with him. That's when fans started to turn and say, 'This guy isn't just a brash guy from Staten Island, but he has a heart and he's able to listen.'" Today, Carisi's scenes are often the highlights of episodes, and he's become an invaluable member of the "Law & Order" team.