Law & Order: SVU showrunner David Graziano revealed Kelli Giddish’s final episode. And unfortunately, the date is coming sooner than we expected.
Graziano shared the news on Instragram. Under a completely unrelated post, a fan asked for more information on Giddish’s exit, and Graziano surprisingly gave a clear answer.
The last time fans will see Amanda Rollins working in the Special Victims Unit will be during this season’s Episode 9, which has yet to be named. That means Giddish won’t even make it halfway through the typical 20 to 24 episodes.
Kelli Giddish’s ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Exit Announced
Kelli Giddish announced her exit on August 24th after rumors surrounding the topic began to spread.
“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,” she wrote in a statement. “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.”
The actress went on to thank creator Dick Wolf, several of her costars, and NBC for spending the past 12 years with her. However, she did not explain why she decided to retire her character.
‘The Call’ to Fire the Actress ‘Came From Above’
Variety later revealed that Giddish did not make the decision nor was it the decision of Graziano. Instead, it was “a call made from above.”
The person “from above” is presumed to be Wolf. Why he nixed a fan-favorite character, we don’t know. But a source noted that it had something to do with keeping the show current and salary requirements.
Firing Kelli Giddish has caused drama with the cast and crew. Both Mariska Hargitay and Graziano have shared that they went to bat to keep the actress in her role.
Former writer David Matthews also spoke out about the situation, and he had some words for Dick Wolf.
“Can’t help but read all the speculation about a character I’m proud to have not only named, but intro’d on the series, and lemme just say whatever horrible things you hear about D Wolf are likely understatement,” he wrote on Twitter.
As for now, it appears that the details surrounding Giddish will remain under wraps. But it’s clear that Wolf didn’t make a popular choice.
You can watch Kelli Giddish’s final nine episodes starting on Thursday, September 22, when the Law & Order franchise debuts with a first-time-ever three-hour crossover event.