Kelli Giddish to depart Law & Order: SVU
“Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life," says SVU star.
Kelli Giddish, who plays Detective Amanda Rollins in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, is leaving after 12 years.
She joined the series in its 13th season and will depart in the middle of the upcoming 24th season.
“I wanted to address the chatter I’ve seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on Law & Order: SVU,” she said in a statement. “Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the Law & Order family for the last 12 years. There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s and I’m grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life.”
“I want to thank Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay, Warren Leight, Peter Jankowski, NBC, Universal Television, all of my co-stars, every single member on the crew and all the writers here for our incredible work together these last 12 years,” she continued. “I’m so excited to take all the things I have learned in my time on ‘SVU’ and put them toward everything that’s next to come.”
Showrunner David Graziano then responded to some irate fans.
“You might take a moment to entertain the idea that things are more complex than they appear in a world of emojis and tweets,” he wrote on Giddish’s Instagram page. “All I’ll say is Kelli has handled this with the most incredibly classy comportment. She is, without a doubt, one of the finest industry professionals I’ve come across in my 24 years of writing for television. I’m saddened by her looming exit. It’ll be my lucky day if I ever get to write for her again.”
Update: Variety notes:
According to multiple sources, the “SVU” shake-up was a call made from above, with one insider noting that the company is always looking to keep the show as up to date and current as possible. Mariska Hargitay, who is both the star and an executive producer on the Dick Wolf drama, as well as at least one other producer pushed to keep Giddish on the procedural, but the decision had already been made. Additionally, salary negotiations and her future on the show were part of the conversation and, ultimately, a compromise couldn’t be made.