Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner addresses Kelli Giddish’s exit

Kelli Giddish
Kelli Giddish is leaving her role as Amanda Rollins on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Pic credit: NBC

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s showrunner is speaking out about losing a huge star.

When Kelli Giddish broke the surprising news she would be leaving the series after 12 seasons as Amanda Rollins, fans naturally reacted with shock and dismay.

Among those commenting on Giddish’s announcement was new showrunner David Graziano who also hinted there might have been more behind the actress’ departure than fans knew. 

There have also been rumors of how the character will be written out, which sadly may be due to a personal tragedy. 

While most of Giddish’s co-stars are silent, Ice-T did hint that he’ll be staying on the show for some time. 

As the fallout of Giddish’s announcement continues, the question remains of how the series will handle Rollins’ exit and how that affects the series. 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner on Kelli Giddish’s exit

Just after word came that the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 24 premiere would be part of a huge crossover event, fans were blindsided by unexpected news.

Kelli Giddish announced that Season 24 would be her last on the series. This closes out 12 years of her as Detective Amanda Rollins, who she’s played since Season 13. 

The actress issued a warm statement on her Instagram page addressing her leaving with thanks to Dick Wolf and various writers and showrunners over the years for their support. 

Naturally, fans responded with sadness at Giddish leaving, with some openly asking why she would be departing.

New Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner David Graziano first shared a sad emoji at the news. This had some fans asking why he was letting this happen.

Graziano responded with a short reply indicating there might be more of the situation than people believed. 

David Graziano's comment about Kelli leaving
Pic credit: @kelligiddish/Instagram

“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. 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.”

This sparked new questions from fans on whether this was Giddish’s decision or she was being written out against her wishes. 

Last year, the series unexpectedly wrote out Jamie Gray Hyder (who played Kat Tamin) and Demore Barnes (who played Captain Christian Garland). 

Both actors made it clear it was not their decision to leave, and the producers made these changes to affect the show. Barnes did make a return appearance later in Season 23.

Thus, speculation is that Giddish is being written out even as she makes it sound like it’s her choice, but how she’ll be written out remains unclear. 

How will Rollins leave SVU?

Law & Order shot of Kelli as Amanda Rollins
Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) to guest-star on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

The key question is how the series will handle Amanda Rollins’ exit. 

A TV Line article hints that Rollins will undergo a personal tragedy early in the season. The last few seasons have had Rollins’ father in poor health, so that might be connected. 

A major concern is how this will affect the relationship between Rollins and Carisi (Peter Scanavino). The pair finally got together in Season 23, and a good romance was going on. 

Rollins suddenly leaving would no doubt shake the prosecutor and a question of whether it would lead to a breakup or a long-distance relationship, depending on Rollins’ future. 

Meanwhile, Ice-T, who plays Fin Tutuola, spoke out about rumors of his possibly leaving the show given his busy workload. 

In a tweet, Ice-T assured fans he wasn’t going anywhere and was simply busy. 

Ice-T's tweet
Pic credit: @FINALLEVEL/Twitter

“FYI. People think I’m leaving SVU every time I do something else. Do they not understand I’ve got 20 Jobs! Simultaneously.”

As of yet, Mariska Hargitay hasn’t spoken about Giddish’s departure. It’s still unknown when Giddish’s final episode will be as the series plans her exit. 

For now, fans are going to get used to the impending exit of Rollins and curious about how her final episodes fall out. 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 24 premieres Thursday September 22 at 9/8c on NBC.

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Lisa Collins
Lisa Collins
1 year ago

She and “Olivia” worked so well together. They seemed to have each others backs. I hope whom evers decision this was….it doesn’t bite them in the butt. Giddish is a very good actress and I can not imagine the show without her.