Sophia Bush opened up on her exit from Chicago P.D. and revealed that the toxic environment on set was the cause of her walking away. Bush sat down with Dax Shephard for his podcast, Armchair Expert, and dished on the decision she made to discontinue working on the show.
Bush took a trip to Onsite, a wellness retreat, and while she was there the actress found some much needed clarity on what was going on with her mental health, and how working on Chicago P.D. was truly affecting her.
“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. 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 … My body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy,” Bush confessed to Shepard, as Us Weekly reported.
The John Tucker Must Die actress further explained that the harsh, wintry weather of Chicago made working a hazard. The cast and crew were constantly getting sick, and when Bush voiced her concerns to the network execs, she was told that it was par for the course and that the natural conditions of the Chicago winters gave the show an authentic look. They let Bush know that either way, she couldn’t get out of her seven-season contract.
Walking away didn’t just mean that Bush would break her contract with the network; the actress felt that if she left the show, many of the crew she had become so close with would lose their jobs. This took a mental toll on Bush. She told them that she could go on her own terms, or write an op-ed revealing the truth behind the working conditions on the set.
Bush continued to say that when these issues were brought up to NBC President Jennifer Salke, Salke let Bush know it was fine for her to go, and no one would force her to stay. But she stayed for a while, and before she finally threw in the towel, the One Tree Hill alum said that she felt so isolated on the show, that there was no way she could continue on.
“I feel like I was standing butt naked, bruised and bleeding in the middle of Times Square, screaming at the top of my lungs and not a single person stopped to ask if they could help me,” Bush told Shepard she confessed to a coworker.