Sophia Bush is receiving support from a fellow former Chicago P.D. actress following claims that abusive behavior on the set of the NBC show led to Bush’s departure.Melissa Sagemiller, who appeared in a 2014 episode of the hit series, applauded Bush on Instagram this week after the story made national headlines. “I knew it was a hard place for a breastfeeding mom of 2 babies,” Sagemiller shared. “But years on that set, I can only imagine your pain. Thank you for standing up for all of us.”
When speaking to Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast, Bush opened up about her decision to exit Chicago P.D. in 2017 after four seasons. (She was contractually obligated for seven.)
“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,” she said. “My body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy.”
Working in extreme weather conditions in Chicago physically took a toll on her body, but emotionally, Bush was in pain as well.
“I internalized and sort of, like, inhabited that role of ‘pull the tugboat’ 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 said.
Bush’s comments are similar to how she described being mistreated on One Tree Hill, but the actress said the two experiences were “very different.”
“Our experience on One Tree Hill was unpleasant, but our boss, who was a bad dude, lived in L.A.,” she said. “And [Chicago P.D.] was a consistent onslaught, a 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 — you go, ‘Oh, that wasn’t worth defending? I’m not worth defending?’”
Bush equated her experience on set to feeling “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.”
Although she filed multiple complaints, none reached former NBC president Jennifer Salke. When Salke did find out, she was understanding and told Bush they would never enforce her seven-year contract, despite threats from her bosses on the show.
“Nearing my tenure there, I was probably difficult to be around because I was in so much pain and I felt so ignored,” Bush admitted. Clearly, Sagemiller would disagree.
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to NBC for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
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