‘Chicago PD’: The Real Reason Why Lisseth Chavez Won’t Return

by Courtney Blackann

Fans of “Chicago PD” might be wondering whatever happened to Officer Vanessa Rojas aka Lisseth Chavez? Her story was just heating up on the show’s seventh season. She was introduced early in the season and quickly became part of the central plot. When season eight aired, it was sans Chavez – and her character was no longer mentioned.

According to Looper, Chavez’s character wasn’t optioned for another season. However, the actress’ storyline never got an onscreen farewell. This is largely because the Covid-19 pandemic happened just as season seven was wrapping up. The writers didn’t have time to give Officer Rojas a goodbye – and therefore her character simply disappeared.

However, Chavez isn’t dwelling on this too much. The “Chicago PD” actress has moved on to another project already. She now has a starring role on the CW series “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Playing the part of Esperanza “Spooner,” Chavez entered the role during the show’s sixth season.

Though writers of “Chicago PD” wrote an exit for Chavez, they didn’t use it during the season eight opening because producers said it “felt forced.” However, they do plan on addressing Chavez’ former character. Writers say they’re working on an exit that will feel explainable and realistic.

Why the ‘Chicago PD’ Star Left the Show

Similarly, actress Sophia Bush exited her role as Detective Erin Lindsay after season four. Though her reasons for leaving were far different from Chavez’.

According to an interview with Dax Shepard’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast, the actress was trying to leave the show for years. Not only were the work conditions poor, but she said she didn’t like the harsh weather conditions of Chicago.

“It was a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior,” she revealed. “I realized that as I was thinking I was being the tough guy, doing the thing, showing up to work, I programmed myself to tolerate the intolerable.” 

Further, the actress shared that the role was taking a toll on her mental health and body.

“I quit because, what I’ve learned is I’ve been so programmed to be a good girl and to be a workhorse and be a tug boat that I have always prioritized tugging the ship for the crew, for the show, for the group, ahead of my own health … My body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy.”

The decision wasn’t easy because she was the central figure of the show. She said she stuck around because she felt like it was her duty to keep the program on air. However, that all changed when she could no longer cope with the way she was being treated on set.

Producers let her leave after she threatened a lawsuit and an op-ed detailing the poor conditions.