‘Law & Order: SVU’: Why Did BD Wong Leave the Show?

by Leanne Stahulak

For 230 episodes, actor BD Wong starred as Dr. George Huang on “Law & Order: SVU.” So, what prompted him to leave such a successful show?

According to Looper, he left to pursue another successful role. And, ironically enough, this role was also as a doctor in the mental health field.

On “SVU,” Mariska Hargitay’s character Captain Olivia Benson commonly turned to Wong’s character Dr. Huang to understand “why” people committed the horrible crimes they did on the show. As a psychiatrist, Huang had a better understanding of the motivations behind certain people’s actions.

He first appeared on the show in Season 2, appearing consistently throughout many episodes until Season 12. Then, around Season 13 in 2011, Wong took a step back from “Law & Order: SVU” to pursue different projects. Namely, he appeared as a therapist in the NBC drama “Awake,” which premiered in 2012.

“Awake” follows Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), a man trying to determine which of the two realities he lives within is “real.” Wong played Dr. John Lee, Michael’s therapist, once again proving his chops as a mental health professional. And for a trippy show like “Awake,” it sounds like his role was a pretty important one.

Unfortunately, “Awake” didn’t get the viewer response NBC was looking for. It did wonderfully with the critics, but the network decided to cancel after just one season.

After that, Wong appeared sporadically throughout Season 15 of “Law & Order: SVU” as Huang. But after one last Season 17 cameo, Wong soon ended his run with the crime procedural. He never gave a concrete reason why, but we can assume the writers found little use for his character after they’d started phasing him out of the show.

Where Else Have You Seen ‘Law & Order’ SVU Star BD Wong?

BD Wong likely also got too busy with other projects, like the “Jurassic World” movies. The actor starred as Dr. Henry Wu in the first-ever “Jurassic Park” movie back in 1993, and then he returned to the role for the recent films in 2015, 2019, and 2022. He would’ve been filming those right around the same time he left “SVU.”

Wong also landed a big role in the Fox drama “Gotham” and “Mr. Robot,” the USA Network tech-thriller. Most recently, the actor also appeared in the comedy show “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens.”

Before joining the “Law & Order: SVU” cast, Wong also made a name for himself in the Steve Martin comedy film “Father of the Bride” as Howard Weinstein. You might also have seen him in the 90s show “All-American Girl,” or Disney’s hit animated film “Mulan” as Captain Li Shang.

No matter what role he takes on, though, we know BD Wong will absolutely crush it.