Demore Barnes has spoken about getting written out of the upcoming 23rd season of Law & Order: SVU, which premiered Thursday night.
Barnes and Jamie Gray Hyder were reported as leaving the series as their characters get written out of future storylines. As Shadow and Act reported Sept. 8, Hyder and Barnes are being phased out as SVU seemingly transitions from storylines based around the 2020 racial reckoning following the deaths of Black Americans, most notably George Floyd. Season 22 featured Hyder as the first LGBTQ+ officer on SVU, Kat Tamin. Barnes played the series’ first Black deputy chief Christian Garland. The season focused exclusively on police reform as Garland is brought in to try to change the NYPD from the inside.
As TVLine reports, Barnes talked about leaving the show in an Instagram video, noting his shock at the series taking a turn away from his character’s storyline.
“I know you’re sad and surprised–I am too,” he said. “I don’t totally know why this has happened. But I also know that I hop Wolf Entertainment’s leadership in giving me the opportunity to amplify a vital voice in story will result in other studios continuing to open doors of opportunity for others to do the same. This must continue.”
He also asked fans to keep supporting stories that uplift and amplify stories from marginalized communities.
“Chief Garland and I would not have it any other way,” he said.
Hyder also voiced her dissent on Twitter about leaving the series, writing, “The decision was made above my pay grade and wouldn’t have been my choice…#SVU23 just got a lot less colorful.” She also wrote, “To anyone who felt represented by any part of Kat’s being or mission, please know that you will always have representation in me.”