Fresh on the heels of the Democratic National Convention, the current vice president is making headlines for a second time this week, and amazingly, it's not for one of his infamous gaffes. Instead, Joe Biden's upcoming Law & Order: SVU appearance is drawing attention to the nation's inexcusable backlog of rape test kits. His cameo will offer political spectators a chance to watch actual fiction rather than whatever reality TV show Donald Trump is filming.
Though SVU isn't based totally on facts, Biden's commitment to addressing the sexual assault epidemic is incredibly real and something he's spoken about on a national scale more than once. In fact, the unrelenting attention he's paid to the problem has even caught the eye of SVU star Mariska Hargitay. The actress founded the Joyful Heart Foundation to empower rape and sexual assault survivors. And in May, she presented Vice President Biden with an award for his work on helping to end domestic violence.
According to a White House press release, Biden will travel to New York today to film an episode of SVU that's based on the real-life problem of backlogged rape kits. Last year, Biden led a successful campaign to get funding to test these backlogged, untested kits of evidence taken from sexual assault survivors that have been sitting in police evidence lockers across the country.
This isn't Biden's first time working on what some dub "women's issues": In 1994, Biden authored the Violence Against Women Act to help put an end to domestic and sexual violence.
This also isn't the vice president's first time on the small screen: Biden appeared on NBC's Parks and Recreation twice. In his first appearance, Ben Wyatt surprises Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope, who has a huge crush on the vice president, with an awkward meeting with Biden. His second appearance was at the show's series finale, in which a much more composed Knope promised to "crush" Biden in charades.
It's unclear whether Biden will play himself as he did on Parks and Rec, but given the content of this particular episode, there's a strong possibility that Biden will appear as himself. That said, it's kind of awesome to imagine good old Joey B acting as another character — maybe a shifty congressman or governor, or a philanthropic businessman with a dark secret. Either way, it's certainly going to be fun to watch, and will be done so for such a good cause.