Fans aren't happy about Kelli Giddish leaving Law & Order: SVU. Now the incoming SVU boss is addressing the actress's surprising exit.
In the comments section of Giddish's Instagram post, new showrunner David Graziano responded to questions from fans perplexed and upset by the announcement. "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. "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."
Later Thursday, Variety reported Giddish was fired from SVU against the wishes of star/executive producer Mariska Hargitay and another unnamed producer. According to sources, the decision was not made by Graziano, but came from on high amid a tense salary negotiation.
In announcing her departure, Giddish wrote that "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," going on to thank show creator Dick Wolf and Hargitay. There's been fan speculation that Giddish isn't being paid fairly, but the official reason for her leaving remains unclear.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns for its 24th season on NBC September 22.
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This article has been updated to reflect new information about Giddish' firing, as reported by Variety.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.