Kelli Giddish Exits ‘SVU’: Mariska Hargitay & More Pay Tribute

Kelli Giddish on Law & Order: SVU
Peter Kramer/NBC

Kelli Giddish‘s final episode on Law & Order: SVU aired on Thursday, December 8, and ahead of the episode, she shared a message of thanks with her fans and followers.

“To everyone who supported Rollins – THANK YOU,” wrote Giddish, who played NYPD Detective Amanda Rollins in the Dick Wolf crime-drama. In return, the Law & Order cast and crew shared their love and support for Giddish as they took to social media to say their goodbyes.

“Kelli, I’ve loved acting, learning, growing, talking, laughing, and crying with you,” wrote series lead Mariska Hargitay, who plays Captain Olivia Benson. “I’ve loved watching your achingly beautiful performances. I’ve loved watching our friendship deepen and grow and blossom. I’ve loved every single minute of it, and I will miss you so much. You have my respect, my gratitude and my love forever.”

 

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A post shared by Kelli Giddish (@kelligiddish)

 

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A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay)

SVU‘s long-time showrunner Warren Leight also paid tribute to the beloved actress. “When we first started writing for [Giddish], I wondered if there was anything she couldn’t do,” he tweeted. “Emotion, exposition, authority, vulnerability, empathy… I soon realized, no matter what we came up with, she’d always make it work, seemingly without effort. It’s been a privilege.”

“Truly grateful we got to go on this ride together mister – thank you so very much,” Giddish wrote in response to Leight’s message.

The official Law & Order Twitter account posted: “Thank you @KelliGiddish for bringing us on Detective Rollins’ amazing 12 year journey.”

While the praise was flowing for Giddish, it was a different story when it came to the franchise creator Dick Wolf as many upset fans blamed him for getting rid of the popular character.

“Goodbye Kelli Giddish. Bye SVU. Bye Law & Order franchise. Bye Twitter. This s*** is unacceptable. Unacceptable. Indefensible. Dick Wolf your day is coming,” tweeted one viewer.

“It seems like every one on the show except Dick Wolf wants [Giddish] to stay. What’s up with that?” posted another fan, while one person added, “I could throw a tantrum. There is no reason for @KelliGiddish to leave SVU. With #dickwolf failed us #LawAndOrderSVU”

In August, it was reported that Giddish’s departure wasn’t her idea, nor was it showrunner David Graziano’s. Apparently, the call was made by higher-ups, despite Hargitay’s push to keep Giddish on the show.

Law & Order: SVU, Winter Premiere, Thursday, January 5, 9/8c, NBC