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While many people think that getting a job on a hit TV show would be the greatest gig in the world, it's always good to keep things in perspective. Just ask actress Sophia Bush, whose voluntary exit from NBC's Chicago P.D. was as shocking as a lot of the cancellations that hit TV this year. Though Bush still considers the gig a dream job, she simply couldn't go on with it. Though her motivational details are still being kept under wraps, she's revealed that she gave her Chicago P.D. bosses quite a long time to fix the problems before she officially left.
A year later, when I sat my bosses down, it was in the summer, between Seasons 3 and 4, and I said, 'Here's where we are. Here's everything you're aware of. Here's how I'm coming to you today. If something really drastic doesn't change, I'm leaving at the end of the year.' Because I understand how the business works and how women are treated, I said, 'I'm giving you not two weeks notice, and I'm not coming in here throwing shit and breaking lamps and saying I'm never coming back. I'm giving you 23 episodes notice. I'm giving you that much time. So there will be no conversation in which I was hysterical, emotional, in which I was being [an] 'irrational female' or whatever you want to put on it. I'm literally sitting in front of you like cool as a cucumber. If this has to be like a big swinging-dick competition, I promise you I will win. But know this now: If we're not having a very different conversation by Christmas, then you know with 100 percent certainty in December that come the end of April, I'm leaving.'
Unfortunately for Sophia Bush and her fandom, it appears that such drastic actions were not taken by Chicago P.D. producers, which led to Bush officially bowing out whenever Season 4 wrapped up in May. That had to be as frustrating an ordeal as one could go through in the Hollywood spectrum, since Bush was expected to put her best foot forward and give winning performances during a time when her wishes were actively being dismissed by her superiors. Granted, we don't know what those wishes involved, and they may very well have been unreasonable.
Recent reports have put Sophia Bush's exit under a new light, though. Star Jason Beghe is being investigated by NBC for on-set misconduct after allegations surfaced that the actor was extremely aggressive to other cast and crew members, and he reportedly used sexually suggestive language with others as well. Beghe has since apologized and admitted to knowing he has anger issues; it wasn't even the first time he'd been investigated on the show, as his volatile behavior was first reported to NBCU's H.R. department in 2016. Beghe's issues have only been unofficially connected to Bush leaving Chicago P.D., but few would be surprised if that ended up being the biggest reason.
During her interview with the UnStyled podcast, Sophia Bush stated that she knew even after Season 2 was over that she wouldn't be able to remain a part of the show for the long haul. Yet she still chose not to break contract, starring in the third and fourth seasons while also making appearances on the other Chicago shows in the build-up to Chicago Justice's spinoff. (She also appeared in the latter's finale.) But going beyond Season 4 just wasn't in the cards for Bush, whose Erin Lindsay took a job with the FBI in New York.
We'll probably be waiting a little longer to hear Sophia Bush give her frankest explanations, but we'll be listening. Meanwhile, you can catch Chicago P.D., which brought Jon Seda back after Chicago Justice got cancelled, returning to NBC for its mole-following midseason debut on Wednesday, January 3, at 10 p.m. ET. To see when all the other hit shows are coming back, head to our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.