updated 10/24/2006 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/24/2006 AT 6:25 PM ET
The View cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck is fuming mad over an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in which a character, whose name is very close to her own, is raped and killed, she said on Tuesday.
“Last week Law & Order: SVU had an episode where a 30-year-old woman in New York City is raped twice and then murdered – and her name is Elizabeth Hassenback,” Hasselbeck, 29, said on The View. “I found this a little disturbing.”
Hasselbeck said that after hearing about the show from a friend, she called an SVU executive producer whom she declined to name – though co-host Rosie O’Donnell chimed in, “But you can Google it at home!” – to express her anger.
“I told him ‘Look, I want to let you know that I think it’s socially irresponsible and gruesomely suggestive to do this in today’s day and age,” said Hasselbeck, who has an 18-month daughter, Grace, with her husband, New York Giants quarterback Tim Hasselbeck.
She described the executive producer as “defensive right from the jump” and said that he told he her to “chalk up” the name similarity to “coincidence.”
When she challenged the idea that the show, which is famous for ripped from the headlines scripts, had coincidentally used a character with a name so close to hers, the producer gave a terse apology, according to Hasselbeck, then said: “Goodbye lady,” and hung up on her.
Hasselbeck said that incident made her feel like she never wanted to sit next to an SVU cast member again. “I think those are good actors and good people, but I can’t sit next to them without feeling as though I have been disrespected and just put at risk.”
A spokesperson for Law & Order: SVU told PEOPLE that before a character can be named on an episode, “all names have to be cleared through legal.”
The spokesperson added: “The producers of SVU absolutely love The View and are totally thrilled when one of our actors are on the show. Mariska (Hargitay) has co-hosted the show. Chris (Meloni), (Richard) Belzer and Ice-T have all been on the show.”
Barbara Walters, who founded The View, also praised Meloni and Hargitay as “favorite guests” of the show.