The announcement of Kelli Giddish’s exit from Law & Order: SVU after 12 seasons sent shockwaves through the L&O online community yesterday. Giddish has appeared in the long-running crime drama series as the beloved Detective Amanda Rollins since 2011, but will now depart in the newest season.
According to a report from Variety, Giddish’s departure was not the actor’s decision, nor was it dictated by the newest series showrunner, David Graziano, but the order was passed down from someone on high to keep the series “the show as up to date and current as possible.” That’s right, to keep Law & Order: SVU “current” as it enters season 24.
Giddish took to Instagram to speak on her upcoming exit: “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. 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.”
Graziano shared his own message about Giddish’s exit following a barrage of angry mentions and comments from social media users who thought it was he who wrote Rollins out of the show.
“You might take a moment to entertain the idea that things are more complex than they appear in a world of emojis and tweets. All I’ll say is Kelli has handled this with the most incredibly classy comportment,” he wrote in the comments section of Giddish’s post. “She is, without a doubt, one of the finest industry professionals I’ve come across in my 24 years of writing television. I’m saddened by her looming exit. It’ll be my lucky day if I ever get to write for her again.
Julia Martin, a writer and executive producer on the series, ensured fans on Twitter that Collins “will have a happy ending” as her time as a character on the show comes to a close. Season 24 of Law & Order: SVU kicks off on September 24.