'Law & Order: SVU' Star Confirms Surprising Exit in Emotional Video

Law & Order: SVU star Demore Barns confirmed his surprising exit from the long-running cop drama with an emotional video on Thursday. Barns originally joined the show in 2019, starring as Deputy Chief Christian Garland. He also did a brief stint on the recent Law & Order spinoff led by Christopher Meloni. News of Barns' and former co-star Jamie Gray Hyder's devastating exits actually broke on Sept. 3, but Barns initially went without giving a full statement on the development due to a recent death in his family, ComicBook.com reports. 

"Hi everyone, thanks so much for your understanding and patience. I wanted to ensure that I'm able to bring my level best in this statement. To the SVU crew, my castmates, NBC, Wolf Entertainment, and all of you, and yet in the midst of what's transpired there are things I know and things I don't," Barnes said in the video. 

He continued: "What I know is that it is almost every actor's desired right of passage to appear on one episode of SVU, and yet here I am. I've not only gone on to do more than one episode, but I know I've done it with style," Barnes said. "I also know, now on the other side of our having made it through this past season of filming in the minefield of COVID with fear and without fallen colleagues, that I am honored and proud to have helped this storied franchise bridge its most difficult year in its record-breaking run, and that the show did it with style."

"I also know that I played a significant role in SVU achieving its highest ratings this past season than it's had in several years and that both Garland and I were so very well-loved and embraced by you from day one. I am also so very proud to have portrayed the first black deputy chief in SVU history. I also know I love and respect my castmates. Ice, Pete, Kelli, Jamie, and Mariska, and grateful they love and respect me back. The SVU crew, I'm grateful for you and for your skilled, humble, and steadfast way you led our show from behind and helped the cast and myself shine," he added, before closing. "The SVU writers room and producers, I loved giving form, and voice, and soul to your words and to Garland. Warren Light and Julie Martin, collaborating and brainstorming with you was a joy and I'm proud of our work and impact. Thank you for your leadership and invitation into your creative process," Barnes said.