Actress Sophia Bush left the cast of Chicago P.D. in 2017, and many fans still aren't clear on why. Bush had a starring role on Chicago P.D. and appeared periodically on Chicago Fire and Chicago Med. A few months after she left, Bush revealed that she fled "abusive behavior" in the workplace.
Bush discussed her experience on Chicago P.D. in an interview with Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert Podcast in December of 2018. She said that she had a sudden epiphany that she could walk away from the show, even if the decision seemed scary. She said: "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." Finally, she realized that she would be better off leaving.
"I quit because what I've learned is I've been so programmed to be a good girl and to be a workhorse 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... My body was, like, falling apart because I was really, really unhappy."
Bush did not elaborate on the nature of the abuse she suffered at work but said: "It was a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior." She also said that she rationalized staying at her job out of concern for the crew and the rest of the cast, believing that the show might fall apart without her.
"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. When your bosses tell you that if you raise a ruckus, you'll cost everyone their job, you believe them."
One of the most concrete accusations she made against her former bosses was a story about filming in Chicago in below-freezing temperatures. At the time, she said that many people on set were getting sick and suffering in the cold, but her bosses refused to delay filming. Bush even said that she threatened to quit on that occasion but that her bosses threatened to take her to court over her seven-season contract.
"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," she recalled.
Shortly after Bush left the series, showrunner Max Olmstead departed as well. Since Bush never called out Olmstead or any other producers by name, it is not entirely clear if her alleged abuse's culprits are gone from the series today.