Sophia Bush starred on Chicago P.D. from 2014 to 2017, and the actor opened up about the reason for her exit during the Monday, Dec. 10 episode of Dax Shepard's podcast, Armchair Expert.
Speaking candidly, Bush revealed alleged that working conditions on the show were not good, citing things like shooting in the extreme Chicago weather, resulting in many people getting sick often.
“I realized that as I was thinking I was being the tough guy, doing the thing, showing up to work, I programmed myself to tolerate the intolerable,” Bush told Shepard.
The actor ultimately quit the show, though she had signed a seven-year contract at the start of the series.
“I quit because, what I’ve learned is I’ve been so programmed to be a good girl and to be a work horse and be a tug boat that I have always prioritized tugging the ship for the crew, for the show, for the group, ahead of my own health," Bush said. "My body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy.”
Bush further compared the set of Chicago P.D. to her time working on One Tree Hill, under the direction of show creator Mark Schwahn, who was accused of sexual harassment by the cast and crew of the show.
“One was like, a guy who we’re like, ‘Oh God, he’s back.’ And one was a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior,” she said. “You start to lose your way when someone assaults you in a room full of people and everyone literally looks away, looks at the floor, looks at the ceiling, and you’re the one woman in the room and every man who’s twice your size doesn’t do something.”
The 36-year-old recalled that on Chicago P.D., she complained about the issues she was experiencing between Seasons 3 and 4 but was "told to stop."
“I internalized and sort of like, inhabited that role of ‘pull the tug boat’ to the point where just because I’m unhappy or I’m being mistreated or I’m being abused at work, I’m not gonna f— up this job for all these people and what about the camera guy whose two daughters I love and this is how he pays their rent? It becomes such a big thing,” she said. “When your bosses tell you that if you raise a ruckus, you’ll cost everyone their job, you believe them.”
“I said, ‘Okay, you can put me in the position of going quietly of my own accord or you can put me in the position of suing the network to get me out of my deal and I’ll write an op-ed for The New York Times and tell them why,’” the activist added.
Bush also alleged that her complaints were "hidden" from former NBC president Jennifer Salke, who she says later reached out to her, saying, “We would never try to make you stay.”
“That I really appreciated,” Bush said of Salke.
“I work really hard. I know I have a good reputation. I am not a difficult person to work with,” Bush continued. “Nearing my tenure there, I was probably difficult to be around because I was in so much pain and I felt so ignored.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Michael Tran