Law & Order
creator Dick Wolf
is blasting NBC for its decision to bar Wednesday's controversial "ripped from the headlines" episode from future airings. Latino activists complained that the episode sensationalized last summer's "wilding" spree in New York's Central Park during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. "The bedrock of American democracy is free speech and lack of censorship," Wolf said. "The network has caved in to the demands of a special interest group and I am extremely disappointed with this decision, about which I was not consulted, as I think it sets an extremely dangerous precedent." In an interview with The Associated Press
, Manuel Mirabal
, head of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, countered that, "Every Puerto Rican shown in that show was portrayed negatively as a criminal, as a delinquent, as someone who abuses women." In a statement, NBC said: "We sincerely apologize for offending members of the Latino community regarding the portrayal of Latinos and the Puerto Rican Day parade... we have agreed not to repeat the episode on NBC."