Blue Bloods is implicitly and explicitly about family. The former is illustrated through the bond that the various New York police officers have as they solve cases, and the latter is illustrated through the Reagan family dinners that have become a TV staple. Sadly, not all family disagreements end harmoniously.
While the CBS drama is known for its talented ensemble and long-running characters, there was one character who was removed from the show in what felt like the middle of her arc, and a star who was fired. Things would eventually get smoothed over, but most remember how shocking it was when Jennifer Esposito was initially booted from Blue Bloods.
Why did Jackie leave Blue Bloods?
Esposito, who played Jackie Curatola, was fired right before the start of season 3. The actress was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which is an immune disorder that causes damage to their intestinal lining if they eat food with gluten. Doctors recommended that she reduce her work schedule as a result, but CBS did not agree to this reduction, and subsequently wrote her character out.
Esposito tweeted about the unfair treatment she felt she was being subjected to by CBS. “CBS. . . PUT me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doc said u needed a reduced schedule due to celiac”, she wrote. “CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was NOT truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise!”
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The network issued a statement in response to Esposito’s tweets, denying any wrongdoing and claiming that they hope to bring her character back at some point in the future. This seemed to be a disingenuous offer for nearly a decade, as the actress and show parted ways. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Esposito returned to Blue Bloods for the season 13 finale.
Esposito’s character’s absence was given a proper explanation, and she was given some touching scenes with her former partner, Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). It was an unexpectedly happy ending to a union that had ended so bitterly, and the cherry on top was Esposito tweeting out: “A huge thank you to all the Blue Bloods fans for all the love. You all rock. Xoox.”
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