‘Chicago PD’: Why Sophia Bush Left the Show

by Taylor Cunningham

Chicago PD lost its top-billed actress, Sophia Bush, during season four. And Bush said the decision to leave was a long time coming.

Sophia Bush played Detective Erin Lindsay on NBC’s Chicago PD. And Erin was the star of the show. The detective came from a complicated background. She began her law enforcement career as a police informant and eventually became a Chicago police detective. And the character seemed to be an important staple to the series.

But in 2017, Erin suddenly accepted a position with the FBI’s counterterrorism squad in New York City. And with that, Sophia Bush was no longer a part of Chicago PD.

Sophia Bush’s departure seemed like a hasty decision. But the following year, Dax Shepard invited Bush to his Armchair Expert podcast. And she told Shepard that she’d been trying to quit for years.

Apparently, the working conditions on set were reprehensible. Between unfair treatment and the harsh Chicago winters, Bush couldn’t bear working for the franchise any longer.

“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.” 

The One Tree Hill alum explained that she had grown used to the conditions. But after a few years, she realized how much the job was affecting her mind and body, and she needed to get out of her contract.

 “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.”

At first, Bush stuck around because the producers said her fellow cast and crew members would lose their jobs if the star was no longer with the show. Then, lawyers told Bush that there was no way she could terminate her seven-year contract.

After a while, Sophia Bush threatened to sue or go public with Chicago PD’s working conditions in a New York Times op-ed piece. Producers didn’t like the sound of that, so they let Sophia go.

‘Chicago PD’ Star Jason Beghe Almost Passed on Starring in the Show

In 2012, Jason Beghe joined the cast of Chicago PD as detective Hank Voight. But according to a recent interview, he almost passed on the part.

When NBC asked Beghe to be a part of their Chicago One franchise, Beghe’s personal life was upside down. Aside from “being in the middle of a lot of personal stuff,” both of his parents had just died. So he didn’t think he was up to working a full-time job.

But Beghe told the Pittsburg Post-Gazette that after a lot of consideration, he decided to accept the offer. And on the same day he laid his father to rest, he headed to shoot his first episode of Chicago PD.

And four years later, Jason Beghe doesn’t regret his decision to join Chicago PD.

“The many ways in which that decision has changed my life could fill a book,” he said. “Suffice it to say, I’m happy I made that choice.”