Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Jamie Gray Hyder has spoken out following the shock announcement that she, along with co-star Demore Barnes, will be exiting the NBC procedural.
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It was reported on Thursday that the two stars will be saying goodbye to the squad room during the action-packed two-hour season 23 premiere - but no reason as to why was given.
However, Jamie has now taken to Instagram to reveal that the decision to leave was not her own and "wouldn't have been [her] choice".
WATCH: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns to screens on Thursday 23 September
Sharing a screenshot of the Deadline report, she wrote: "Kat's outta the bag… #SVU23 just got a lot less colorful."
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In a second slide, she shared a short statement that read: "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm Kat's departure from the squad room. The decision was made above my pay grade, and wouldn't have been my choice, but hey - that's show biz [sic] for ya.
Jamie revealed that she didn't want to leave the NBC show
"To anyone who felt represented by any part of Kat's being or mission, please know that you will always have representation in me," she continued. "Thank you to the SVUniverse for welcoming me with open arms. it's been an experience that I have grown from greatly, and will never forget."
Both Jamie and Demore, who play Officer Kat Tamin and Deputy Chief Christian Garland, first appeared on SVU in season 21. Together they were promoted to series regulars for season 22. HELLO! has reached out to Demore for a comment about his exit.
Both Jamie and co-star Demore Barnes will make their departures in the season 23 premiere
Jamie's character, who identified as bisexual, was the second main LGBTQ character on the show, after Dr George Huang, played by B.D. Wong, who exited the series in season 12.
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It's not been revealed how their exits will be written into the show, but according to Deadline, season 23 picks up "mere hours after last season's finale" and will involve the entire squad working together to try and convict a corrupt congressman.
Mariska Hargitay, Ice T, Peter Scanavino and Kelli Giddish are all expected to appear in season 23.
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