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Ice-T shares his response to Kelli Giddish exiting Law & Order: SVU after 12 years on the series, revealing he was shocked to learn of the decision.
At the show's season 24 premiere, Ice-T spoke to to share his reaction to . Ice-T reveals that he was shocked to learn of the decision, and jokes that he had to "" to ensure he was not in total disbelief at the news. Read Ice-T's full reaction below:
"It's a sad thing. Me and Kelli were friends — dog friends and all that. We became close. Kelli's been here 10 years. It came from the top of the mountain, you know? When I heard about it, I called to check on my pulse, like, 'What's going on?' But this is the business we're in, and they shuffle the deck occasionally. I'm not even sure she's gone until they shoot that episode....because you never know. Kelli will be missed."
As Ice-T elaborates, not her decision, but rather she was forced out by higher-ups on the show. In fact, new showrunner David Graziano made it clear the call came from above him, as it was out of his control. While the exact reason behind the decision has yet to be revealed, speculation has pointed towards failed salary negotiations leading to Giddish's departure. Eager fans have also suggested series mastermind Dick Wolf was behind the decision.
Ice-T's reaction echoes that of other cast members who have responded to the news. Hargitay, who stars as Captain Olivia Benson, objected to the decision. She made her feelings clear about s future without Rollins, saying she will be greatly missed, and that she loves working with her. Hargitay also explained that their bond was special because it was between two strong female leads, and it was important for the show to highlight two women having each other's backs. Hargitay even reportedly campaigned for Giddish to stay on the series, but failed doing so. Octavia Pisano, who plays Joe Velasco, offered a , highlighting their close working relationship and her role as a mentor to him.
While Giddish's co-stars are saddened at the news, audiences feel similar and were passionately and vocally against the decision. As the last few seasons have seen Rollins inch closer to her happy ending with A.D.A. Dominick "Sonny" Carisi (Peter Scanavino), Rollins' love interest, showrunners have promised to give the pair a proper send-off. It will certainly be an adjustment for viewers who have been alongside Giddish for the last 12 years. Nevertheless, Christopher Meloni's return as Elliott Stabler promises an opportunity for Giddish to eventually return to the series, as he famously left the show after failed salary negotiations. time and time again, anything is possible, so perhaps Giddish will have another chance to be on-screen as Rollins.