Chicago P.D.'s Sophia Bush Talked Complications Behind Leaving The Show

sophia bush chicago p.d.

With roles in hit TV shows and movies, Sophia Bush has had a career that many in the business would be happy to have, though those years were unfortunately not always the most easygoing for the actress. Bush, who rose to fame as part of the cast of One Tree Hill, spoke up about her highly publicized exit from Chicago P.D. after Season 4, which was reportedly due to one co-star's workplace behavior. Here's why Bush says it's complicated to try and talk about that situation in public. She said:

It's a complicated question to answer only because 99.9 percent of the people who are on that show are my family, and they are people I would go to war for. They are people who I will protect and have chosen to protect very specifically, who I love very much. . . . What I will say is -- compared to most women that I know, and women that work in industries that are far less supportive of women than mine, if you can imagine -- it's all gravy. To have encountered two really terrible people over the course of my career, is kind of a cakewalk.

Sophia Bush shared those thoughts with Andy Cohen during a revealing conversation on the latter's radio show Andy Cohen Live, and it was very clear that Sophia Bush does not view Chicago P.D. in its entirety as something she begrudges, and that neither the show nor most of the production were at the root of why she left. On the contrary, it sounds very much like her exit was caused by the actions of only one particular person, though that person's identity has yet to be revealed. And because of that, Bush doesn't necessarily want to speak ill of a project employing dozens upon dozens of people that she cares a lot about and shared many good times with.

While sharing the above quote, Andy Cohen asked Sophia Bush if the former co-worker in question was still working on Chicago P.D., which she non-verbally confirmed. Had that not been the case, it's certainly possible that Bush might have been more comfortable with getting candid about the issue, but to go into detail about it now would only shine a harsh light on the NBC hit and those still working on it. So for the sake of everyone else involved, the actress will continue to stay mum. (Which isn't to say that's the only reason she's keeping private, as well.) The point being, if you were hoping this was a "who bit Beyonce" situation and we might find out in a matter of weeks, you may be disappointed.

Sophia Bush spoke of dealing with two "really terrible people" during her career, with the other one being One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn, who was fired from his most recent gig (as creator and showrunner for The Royals) after multiple sexual misconduct allegations came out against him, with many stemming from those One Tree Hill years. Bush revealed that at one point when she was 21 years old, Schwahn grabbed her butt and she responded by hitting him "fucking hard" in front of a group of other producers, which he allegedly complained about to others after the fact. Bush says he knew to steer clear of her after that.

To that end, the actress succinctly wrapped up why harassment at the TV workplace is never a simple situation for anyone to deal with. In her words:

It's not as simple as A to B. There is a whole life and a whole community and a whole tremendous group of people, Life is short, and life is also really, really long. So you've gotta figure out where you want to spend your 90 hours a week.

Indeed. You can hear Sophia Bush and Andy Cohen's chat in the clip below.

News of Sophia Bush's departure ahead of Season 5 undoubtedly came as a surprise to fans after the Season 4 finale cliffhanger that saw her character considering a job with the FBI in New York. The job opportunity obviously meant that there was a chance that Erin Lindsay would leave Chicago in Season 5, but her complete absence from the Season 5 premiere was a big sign that Bush either wasn't inclined to even come back for a guest spot or the folks at Chicago P.D. didn't feel inclined to bring her back to tie off loose ends. The Season 5 premiere did deliver a certain amount of closure, however, as Halstead visited her empty apartment to discover a picture of them together in happier times, and Vought commented on how he had to say goodbye to somebody he considered a daughter.

It should also be noted that when it was announced that Sophia Bush was leaving Chicago P.D. in May of 2017, her departure was confirmed, but rumor had it that she could return for a guest arc, and the reason given for her decision to leave was that she was ready to move on. Details began to emerge in the fall, shortly after Chicago P.D. premiered its fifth season. Bush revealed that she had to put a lot of work in to get out of the show and even gave her bosses at the show a head's up between Seasons 3 and 4 that she would move on if they didn't address some of her issues. Her recent comments only shed more light on what motivated her to make the big move out of the Chicago world.

Luckily, the decision to leave has been a fairly good once. She's already appeared in Marshall and Acts of Violence in the time sense. Now, you can catch Sophia Bush -- or at least her voice -- in the highly anticipated animated sequel Incredibles 2 -- read our review -- which hit theaters in June. (While Chicago P.D. Season 6 will debut on NBC this fall.) In the meantime, head to our summer premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.