Why ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Fans Still Can’t Get Over This Character’s Return

by Taylor Cunningham

It seems that fans of Law & Order: SVU take the possibility of a Benson-Stabler romance a bit too far. And poor Isabel Gillies found that out the hard way.

Ever since the series began in 1999, it has seemed that Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler had undeniable chemistry. And as the show continued, they also forged a swoon-worthy bond that most deemed perfect for marriage.

But there was a big problem standing in the way of a Bensler storyline—Stabler’s wife, Kathy. The two had already been married for decades before the series picked up. And the couple shared five children together.

Nonetheless, the tension between the detectives grew, and they shared many will-they-wont-they moments. In one season, Stabler even separated from his wife. But the two ended up back together after Kathy revealed she was pregnant with his child.

That revelation apparently left fans seething with anger though. Because when Kathy returned to the SVU screen as a segue into the spinoff Organized Crime, they trolled Kathy’s actress, Isabel Gillies, so hard that she wrote an open letter asking people to stop harassing her.

As the actress wrote, when she made her return in October of 2021 “for a single episode only to get blown up and killed by a car bomb,” it had been years since she worked on TV. But she was excited to “take out the old acting tools” and “play” with her “former colleagues.”

However, what should have been a joyful reunion turned into an unfortunate situation when Law & Order: SVU fans started filling her social media pages with hateful comments the day after her episode dropped.

“My feed, which is normally pretty sleepy, a retweeted article here, a few shoutouts about a recipe there, was a stream of eye-popping-bile posts, at me!” she wrote. “My character, the deceased Kathy Stabler, was trending on Twitter.”

 “KATHY STABLER IS BURNING IN THE DEEPEST PART OF HELL,” read one comment. “This girl is the nastiest, skank b**** I’ve ever met!” said another.

Gillies admitted that the mean-spirited attention made her “well, crying.”

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Actress Mariska Hargitay Convinced Gillies to Not Take it Personally

After the actress had enough, she called up her good friend Mariska Hargitay and asked if the hate was common. And Hargitay admitted that it’s simply par for the course these days. When Gillies started with the show, social media wasn’t a thing. So she never knew how people felt about her character. But when she made her return, social media was commonplace.

Luckily, Hargitay convinced Gillies not to take it personally. And while she wasn’t completely over it, she realized that her former co-star was right. The trolls didn’t matter. But the situation made Isabel Gillies speak out about all the bulling these days. And she asked people to “T.H.I.N.K” before they write.

“Can we please all take it down a notch?” she asked. “It seems we’re all screaming at each other all day, every day. Is it worth it? Can we stop?”