Sophia Bush Says ‘Chicago P.D.’ Exit Was Prompted By ‘Barrage of Abusive Behavior’
The actress was interviewed on Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast, during which she revealed that a wellness retreat helped her unpack her experience on the show. She said that at the time, she felt as though she was "being the tough guy" by continuing to appear, but claims the "abuse" got to be too much after a while.
"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," she said.
Bush, 36, revealed that in addition to extreme weather conditions on set and being sick all the time, she was putting up with "intolerable" behavior and putting her own wellbeing at risk.
"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. When your bosses tell you that if you raise a ruckus, you'll cost everyone their job, you believe them," she explained.
After filing several complaints with her bosses, Bush sat down with executives to discuss getting out of the seven-season contract she signed in 2014. She was ready to walk away from the show and felt she gave them ample time to fix the problems or find her replacement, but her bosses weren't keen on the idea.
"I said, 'OK, 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," Bush said.
"Nearing my tenure there, I was probably difficult to be around because I was in so much pain and I felt so ignored," she continued. "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."
Shepard noted that Bush previously said she had a toxic experience on the set of One Tree Hill, but the actress maintained that the differences were stark. She compared the former to "a guy who we're like 'Oh God, he's back,'" while Chicago P.D. was more like "a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior."
"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," she said.
Bush declined to name any names. NBC hasn't responded to her claims.