After more than a decade and 12 seasons, Kelli Giddish, aka Detective Amanda Rollins, is leaving Law & Order: SVU, the actress confirmed in an Aug. 24 Instagram post.
“I started on this show in my late 20s and am grateful to have been able to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins.”
“I wanted to address the chatter I’ve been seeing online and let everyone know that this will indeed be my final season on Law & Order: SVU,” Giddish wrote. “Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I have been very fortunate to have been part of the Law & Order family for the past 12 years. There’s just no other character on television like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and so have I. I started on this show in my late 20’s and I’m grateful to have been able to spend so many of the adult years of my life with Rollins.
Giddish concluded her statement by saying, “I want to thank Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay, Warren Leight, Peter Jankowski, NBC, Universal Television, all my co-stars, every single member of the crew and all the writers here for the incredible work we’ve been in.” worked together for the last 12 years. I’m really looking forward to putting all the things I’ve learned during my time at SVU into whatever comes next…”
It’s currently unclear when and how Giddish will be written off SVU, but TVLine previously reported that an insider said her character “will experience a traumatic event early in Season 24.” Giddish’s departure will likely impact Rollins’ romantic relationship with Peter Scanavino’s Carisi, as well as the dynamics of the ever-changing SVU team. Viewers will have a chance to see Giddish’s final send-off when “SVU” returns on September 22 for its 24th season and features a historic three-show crossover with the revived flagship “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Organized.” Crime” begins. “
Read on to find out more about Giddish’s ‘SVU’ departure.
Why is Kelli Giddish leaving Law & Order: SVU?
Giddish’s shocking Instagram statement about her exit sparked angry reactions from some SVU fans. The actress didn’t say exactly why she’s leaving the series after season 24, but new showrunner David Graziano wrote a brief explanation in the comments section of her post to reassure passionate viewers. “Perhaps take a moment to consider the idea that things are more complex than they appear in a world of emoji and tweets,” he wrote. “All I can say is that Kelli handled this with the incredibly stylish demeanor. She is without a doubt one of the finest industry professionals I have come across in my 24 years as a television writer. I’m saddened by her impending departure. It will be my lucky day if I ever get to write for her again.”
According to Variety, multiple sources told the outlet that Giddish’s decision to leave “SVU” was neither her choice nor Graziano’s. The call to get Giddish to leave the show was reportedly made “from above,” with an insider also pointing out that NBC “always strives to keep the show as fresh and current as possible.”
NBC officials didn’t immediately respond to POPSUGAR’s request for comment, but Variety reported that Hargitay, who serves as the series’ executive producer, and at least one other producer were pushing to keep Giddish on the show, but their fate was already decided. The outlet also noted that salary negotiations and Giddish’s future on the show contributed to her departure.
Sources tell TVLine that Giddish’s final episode of SVU will air in the first half of season 24, so fans will soon have more clarity on Rollins’ departure.
What did the cast of Law & Order: SVU say about Kelli Giddish’s exit?
Following the news of Giddish’s exit, the ‘SVU’ actor’s co-stars said a bittersweet goodbye to their longtime castmate. “Oh god, Kelly. I love Kelli, she’s my girl,” Hargitay told Entertainment Tonight at the Sept. 19 premiere of Law & Order. “She’s one of my favorite actresses that I’ve ever worked with and we got her to build something really beautiful together and really make money together because our characters have been through quite a journey. . . . I will miss that because she was my go-to person, my right hand, the woman I could talk to. . . . I will miss her very much but she is a lifelong friend and I’m just glad our paths crossed and I know they will continue to cross.”
Ice-T also shared similar sentiments after telling People that Giddish’s shock departure was the result of calls “from above.” “It’s a sad thing,” he said. “Me and Kelli were friends — dog lovers and all that. We became close. Kelli has been here for 10 years… when I heard about it [her exit], I called to check my pulse, like, ‘What’s up?’ But that’s the business we’re in, and they shuffle the cards occasionally.” The original SVU star also said Giddish’s final episode wasn’t filmed at the red carpet premiere. “I’m not even sure she’s gone by the time they film this episode,” he added, “because you never know. . . . Kelli will be missed.”
SVU newcomer Octavio Pisano added in parting with the cast, telling People, “When I came on the show last season, Kelli was the first thing that sort of took me under her wing… Of course I’m really sad, but I’m happy really looking forward to the next chapter in her life because she is an incredible talent. I learned so much from her in terms of acting and all kinds of things. So I’m more excited than anything, but of course it’s bittersweet.”