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Why Kelli Giddish's Law and Order: SVU Exit Is Controversial (and Bad)

Although Kelli Giddish has played Amanda Rollins for 12 years of , the actor won’t return in season 24 to the understandable chagrin of the show’s sizable fan base. season 24 premieres on September 22. The police procedural will start season 24 with a bang via a three-series crossover event that involves the other two shows, but this exciting plan has been overshadowed by real-life behind-the-scenes news coming from ’s production.

Kelli Giddish’s supporting character Amanda Rollins has been a mainstay on the long-running series since season 13 but, earlier in 2022, it was announced that she would not be returning for the entirety of season 24. While proved that the franchise can reintegrate characters who were already written out of the procedural, many viewers were still dismayed to hear that Giddish’s well-liked supporting character was to be dropped in season 24. Since the news first broke, further reports have surfaced which indicate Giddish was forced out of the role and the choice to get rid of Amanda Rollins came from higher up in ’s production team.

According to a report from late August, the choice to cut Amanda Rollins from season 24 wasn’t made by Giddish herself or series showrunner David Graziano, but rather by more powerful producers from higher on the show’s food chain. The same report claims that campaigned for Giddish’s Rollins to stay in season 24, meaning even the star of the series wasn’t able to sway these higher-ups. Although the report concludes that salary negotiations were part of the cause of Kelli Giddish’s departure, the number of high-profile creatives who tried to keep Amanda Rollins on the show has led some fans online to speculate that executive producer Dick Wolf, the mastermind behind the franchise as a whole, is the one responsible for the decision.

Why Kelli Giddish Is No Longer In Law & Order: SVU

According to , Giddish will no longer appear later in season 24 on due to a call from above, with an unnamed insider noting that the network wants to “.” Much like , Giddish’s departure was blamed on “,” although the report does seem to imply that the decision to force Giddish out of her role was already set in stone and salary negotiations were more of a catalyst than a cause when it came to writing the character of Amanda Rollins out of the show. While this analysis of the actor’s departure is largely speculation, what is clear as day is the fact that Kelli Giddish’s Amanda Rollins will exit season 24 after 12 years on the series.

Why Kelli Giddish's Law & Order Exit Is Controversial: How SVU Fans Reacted

While fans are not a monolith and no individual reaction can be taken as indicative of the entire fandom’s feelings on this development, it is still fair to say that the online response to Kelli Giddish’s departure from season 24 has been dramatically one-sided. decrying the choice to drop her character have gained a lot of traction, with hashtags like “” and “” giving a pretty clear indication of the prevailing mood among long-time viewers. While these fans are likely to be more among the more passionate viewers (judging by their interest in the show’s behind-the-scenes machinations), this reaction could still prove to be indicative of how the fan base as a whole feels about the series dropping Amanda Rollins.

Many of the criticisms leveled at the producers ofnote that Benson and Rollins had a platonic relationship that was central to the appeal of the series, while others note that Amanda Rollins was a trauma survivor whose story resonated with many real-life viewers and provided hope and inspiration on a show infamous for its dark, grim tone. While procedurals like the actors relatively regularly, the campier tone of that gorier series makes this easier to pull off. The dark, serious, and often disturbing content depicted on makes the viewer’s relationship with the show’s nominal heroes extremely important, as Benson, Rollins, and company are the guiding lights through the amoral horrors of the ” offenses that the titular team investigate.

Why Kelli Giddish's Rollins Leaving Makes Law & Order: SVU Worse

Viewers are right to worry about Giddish’s departure from . Like any show entering season 24, struggles with keeping its formula feeling fresh. The series already ran the risk of feeling tired and stale even before Giddish was given her marching orders and now will have a far harder time winning over even its existing fans. Rollins was a pivotal part of the team and not only will viewers miss her relationship with Benson, but the show will also struggle to fill the void left by her character. Over the last twelve years, longtime viewers have seen Rollins struggle with survivor’s guilt, a gambling addiction, and parenthood. recently gave her a long-deserved break as the new mother entered into a relationship with Sonny Carisi, another promising plot thread that will now evidently be cut short by Giddish’s exit.

It is tough for any show entering its twenty-fourth season to win over new fans, and will need to rely on its existing fan base when the series premieres. As such, cutting a fan favorite character like Kelli Giddish’s Amanda Rollins could prove to be a classic example of the show shooting itself in the foot. While it is possible for the show to bring back the supporting star sometime in the future, this may not be enough to quell fan anger. If season 24 fails to win over viewers thanks to the departure of Kelli Giddish’s Amanda Rollins, the show will have no one to blame but its own higher-ups.

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