Sophia Bush on Why She Left 'Chicago PD': "I Had to Respect Myself"

December 19, 2017
When Sophia Bush announced her departure from the hit TV series Chicago PD, fans were undoubtedly stunned. While the show featured a robust cast, Bush was one of the main, and favorite, characters. At the time, fans weren't told much aside from showrunner Dick Wolf's explanation that "she wanted to leave." Still, die-hards who have been with Bush since the One Tree Hill Days (like myself) needed more. We weren't entitled to know more but we certainly wanted the scoop. And as the saying goes, all in due time. Bush might not be completely ready to explain her reasoning completely but she is revealing a little more about what led to her decision. “I don’t have to give everyone the specific breakdown of exactly why I left until I’m ready to do that. But, the overarching theme for me was that I landed my dream job. I landed this job that, since I was 20 years old and trying to become an actor, I said I wanted. And aspects of it, don’t get me wrong, were wonderful,” she said on Refinery 29’s UnStyled podcast.  She did, however, know that she would wanted to leave her "dream job" after season 2. “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 s–t 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 a quote 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 d— 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,'” she continued. While everything seemed peachy on-screen — when Bush's character Lindsey wasn't dealing with criminals or her mother Bunny — apparently off camera, things were much different. “It was then that I realized I’d been drowning. It was then that I knew just how miserable I was going to work every day,” she said. She added that while she'd formed wonderful relationships with her cast, she couldn't stay just for them. “What you start to realize is that like if your house was burning down, you wouldn’t hang out inside because your brother was in there and you loved him. You’d be like, ‘Yo, I love you. Let’s get out of this house!'” she explained. “For me, not to put it on anybody else, but for me it felt like I was trapped in a burning building. I was just so unhappy and it was my dream job and I was miserable and I had to go.”
Bush also addressed all the fan reaction that followed; a reaction that was mostly negative.
"I had to respect myself in a situation where I didn’t feel respected,” she said about her choice to ignore the criticism.
Chicago P.D is currently in its 5th season. Bush's character Lindsey was replaced by actress Tracy Spiridakos who plays Det. Upton. 
This isn't the first time Bush spoke out about a negative experience on the set of a TV show.
Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, female crew and cast members from The WB/The WB hit One Tree Hill banded together to accuse show creator Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment. Read more about that HERE!