A few months after it was announced that actor Demore Barnes was exiting his role as Christian Garland on the long-running crime procedural Law and Order: SVU, word has come that he will now reprise his role on an upcoming episode.

The news was first reported by Give Me My Remote. Details of his return and the circumstances of it are not known at this time, just that the episode will air at the end of April.

For those unfamiliar, Barnes was unexpectedly written out at the top of season 23

Barnes’ character, Christian Garland, made his debut on season 22 as the show’s first Black deputy chief. Fans of SVU will recall that the character of Garland was introduced in the wake of the country’s racial reckoning following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arnery and Breonna Taylor. Season 22 saw Garland making inroads to reshape police reform in the NYPD.

Garland eventually quit the force after he was shunned by Chief McGrath (Terry Serpico) for speaking out about police misconduct.

The top of the season saw this character, as well as Jamie Gray Hyder’s Kat Tamin, written out.


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“I know you’re sad and surprised–I am too,” he said in an Instagram video in the wake of his SVU departure. “I don’t totally know why this has happened. But I also know that I hope Wolf Entertainment’s leadership in giving me the opportunity to amplify a vital voice in the story will result in other studios continuing to open doors of opportunity for others to do the same. This must continue.”

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.