Sophia Bush is addressing her departure from “Chicago P.D.” after four seasons.
The 36-year-old actress, who played Detective Erin Lindsay in the hit Global procedural, quit the show in 2017, following the finale of the fourth season.
Bush didn’t immediately give a reason for her departure. “I don’t have to give everyone the specific breakdown of exactly why I left until I’m ready to do that,” she told Christene Barberich on the UnStyled podcast last December.
The former “One Tree Hill” star is now ready to talk, as she opened up to Dax Shepard on the Armchair Expert podcast about the conditions that caused her to quit. Bush revealed she had an ‘epiphany’ after visiting Onsite, an organization that runs therapeutic and personal growth workshops.
“Part of the big break for me [was] saying, ‘No. I don’t necessarily know what it is but I know that what’s happening is not good for me and everything has to change.’ That was a big cutoff point when I quit my job,” she explained.
Bush told Shepard there were “aspects of [the show] that I loved,” but that the work conditions, specifically the severe weather in Chicago, were a problem. She said that cast and crew would often get sick because of the long periods of filming outside.
“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 tugboat that I have always prioritized tugging the ship for the crew, for the show, for the group, ahead of my own health.
“The reality was that my body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy,” she continued. Bush said she took the issues to the show’s producers but nothing was fixed, and she was “told to stop.”
“I said, ‘Okay, you can put me in the position of going quietly of my own accord or you can put me in the position of suing the network to get me out of my deal and I’ll write an op-ed for the New York Times and tell them why.'”
Bush was eventually let out of her seven-year contract and did not take legal action against NBC.
“I work really hard. I know I have a good reputation. I am not a difficult person to work with,” she said. “Nearing my tenure there, I was probably difficult to be around because I was in so much pain and I felt so ignored.”
Her co-star Melissa Sagemiller backed up Bush’s claims. Sagemiller was originally cast as a series regular. Her character was killed off in the premiere because she left during pre-production.
“Thank you Sophia Bush. Even in the beginning episodes spent in ‘Chicago P.D.’, I knew it was a hard place for a breastfeeding mom of 2 babies,” she captioned a photo of the pair. “But years on that set, I can only imagine your pain. Thank you for standing up for all of us 👊👊.”