Sophia Bush explained why she left NBC’s Chicago P.D. in season four, despite her seven-year contract. On Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast Monday, she says she was assaulted in a room full of men who refused to help her. Plus, she felt ground down by her bosses on the show.
"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 tugboat that I have always prioritized tugging the ship for the crew, for the show, for the group, ahead of my own health," the 36-year-old actress said.
She continued: "I internalized and sort of like, inhabited that role of ‘pull the tugboat’ to the point where just because I’m unhappy or being mistreated or I’m being abused at work, I’m not gonna f–k this job up 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."
"The reality was that my body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy."
Bush said that being assaulted changed things: "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. You go, 'Oh that wasn’t worth defending? I'm not worth defending?' "
Ultimately, Bush said she told her bosses they either need to make changes or find a replacement for her. When they told her no, Bush 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."
Later, she found out her complaints had been hidden from former NBC chief Jennifer Stalke, who reached out to Bush after finding out.
"That I really appreciated," Bush said of Stalke's response.