‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Pens Heartfelt Message to Showrunner Warren Leight as He Exits the Show

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” will return in the fall for its 24th season, however, longtime showrunner Warren Leight will not be at the head of the next installment. On Tuesday, the showrunner announced his departure from “SVU,” which took many cast and crew members by surprise. On Thursday, after the initial shock of Leight’s exit, “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay took a few moments to pen a heartfelt message to the series’ former showrunner.

With Twitter limiting the actress to 280 characters per tweet, the “SVU” star began a thread on her feed, thanking Warren Leight for his creativity, talent, and dedication.

“My dear, dear [Warren Leight],” she began, “thank you for your heart and soul. That’s what you gave us every day.”

Mariska Hargitay praised the former “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner’s many talents and attributes including his “nuance, finesse, depth of knowledge and tender, masterful artistry.”

Her following tweet continued, “What you managed and crowded into the bandwidth of your magnificent brain during these years is nothing short of heroic.”

Hargitay concluded, “I feel so honored to have worked alongside you for so long, and to speak your words that reach and help and heal so many.”

Some “Law & Order: SVU” fans shared Mariska Hargitay’s sentiments. One wrote, “You and Warren are the duet that brought Olivia Benson to the fully developed, well-rounded hero we all know and love. She inspires hope for so many, and she would not exist without you both. He’s leaving very, very big shoes to fill.”

Warren Leight’s Exit Surprised ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Cast and Crew

Following Leight’s announcement of his departure on Tuesday, some of the cast of “Law & Order: SVU,” aside from Mariska Hargitay, shared his exit came as a surprise.

One of the series’ latest additions, Octavio Pisano, who joined as Detective Joe Velasco at the beginning of the current season, revealed his own reaction to the showrunner’s departure.

“I saw [Warren] yesterday on set,” Pisano said Wednesday, “but it was a surprise to us all.”

While Hargitay took to Twitter to share her lengthy, heartfelt thanks to Warren Leight, Pisano said he approached the series’ creative spearhead personally.

“I expressed my gratitude to him yesterday,” the actor said, “and I wish I would have known [he was leaving]. I would have gone a little bit deeper.”

Compared to Mariska Hargitay, Pisano has spent considerably less time working with the “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner. Nevertheless, he also praised Leight, stating, “He’s really an actor’s writer. He really likes to think about things that are not in the script, whether it be backstory or motivation. For me as an actor, I was always able to talk to him whenever I had a question.”