Cybill Shepherd is ready to tackle the Paula Deen controversy.
The actress will play a character fashioned around the embattled television cooking personality when the new season of Law & Order starts in a few weeks. The episode will actually combine two recent headlines, following Jolene Castille, a character resembling Paula Deen who shoots and kills and unarmed teenager wearing a hoodie because she thought he was a rapist chasing her.
The episode then follows the woman’s trial, which plays out like the self-defense case laid out earlier this summer by George Zimmerman.
Cybill Shepherd is joined in the episode by Arrested Development star Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a defense attorney, and Smash star Leslie Odom Jr. playing a minister.
“When the script was published it became a litmus test for everybody here,” executive producer Warren Leight told EW. “It was really interesting to see people read that script and have different interpretations about who did what and whether or not they deserved prison for it. It was fascinating.”
Law & Order has been known for its timely portrayals of current events. One episode last season followed the abusive relationship of a pop singer, a story based on the relationship between Rihanna and Chris Brown.
With the Paula Deen episode planed for this year, Law & Order has another headline-grabbing case. After a lawsuit alleged that Deen used racial slurs, the television personality admitted that she had used those words before. She apologized and said it was in her past, but Deen lost her program on the Food Network and saw an exodus of sponsors.
Deen has recovered some from the scandal — she won the civil suit that got it all started, and her cookbook sales and cruise sales both picked up — but the damage to her career seems long-lasting.
Cybill Shepherd will take on Paula Deen in the season premiere of Law & Order on September 25.