Law and Order SVU: Why is Jamie Gray Hyder leaving as Kat Tamin?

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Law and Order: SVU has seen countless characters come and go across 23 seasons and more than 20 years of storytelling on NBC. That doesn’t make it any easier for Kat Tamin (played by Jamie Gray Hyder) fans, as the star just announced her departure from the show. Kat is an integral part of the SVU team and her absence will be felt from the series.

Why is Jamie Gray Hyder leaving as Kat Tamin?

Recently both Jamie Gray Hyder and Demore Barnes, who plays Christian Garland, were both confirmed to be leaving the show ahead of season 24.

They will both leave during the events of season 23, which is set to premiere later this month on September 23.

The exact reasoning for their departure from the show remains to be seen, but up until now the reason for the stars leaving was just as unclear.

Hyder first joined the cast back in 2019, making her exit a particular surprise as her character looked set to be a continued mainstay in the show. 

At first, fans assumed the stars were leaving due to scheduling conflicts and the desire to pursue other projects, as is typical for stars of long-running shows.

However, that doesn’t appear to be the case, as Hyder recently revealed in a Twitter post.

Sharing two images, one of Deadline’s initial report of her and Barnes’ exit from the show, and another a short text explaining the situation.

Hyder’s statement reads: “It is with a heavy heart that I confirm Kat’s departure from the squad room.”

Most notably, Hyder confirmed that it was not her decision to leave the show and that the choice was made above her “pay grade.”

Hyder continued: “The decision was made above my pay grade, and wouldn’t have been my choice, but hey – that’s show biz for ya.”

It isn’t clear if Barnes’ exit is for similar reasons or if the star is leaving on his own accord.

The in-universe explanation for their exit will come during the season 23 premiere on September 23.

Hyder went on to thank the “svuniverse” and everyone that welcomed her “with open arms” into the Law and Order franchise.

The star also stressed the importance her character had on representation in the show.

“To anyone who felt represented by any part of Kat’s being or mission,” Hyder added, “please know that you will always have representation in me.”

Fans rushed to the comments of the post, with many of them sharing their sadness over Hyder’s unexpected exit.

@EGMike84 replied: “Jamie Aka Kat I’m very saddened by this news! Initially I assumed you found something better! But seeing your words “above my pay grade” hurts.” (sic)

“Jamie, I’m so sorry. Your contributions to this show were important to so many, on every imaginable level. I’m hoping you have bigger and better projects already or very soon. You deserve it,” @Larkin2112 added.

@JGHyder commented: “This is ridiculous!!! We finally got representation, after 20+ years. Finally, someone who represented us, the LGBTQ community, amongst the regular cast.

“We finally saw gay relationships normalized on our fav show. And now this? Why?! Such a shame! I’m so mad and sad on your behalf!”

NBC has not released an official statement following Hyder’s social media post.

Law and Order: SVU is available to watch on NBC in the US. Season 22 of SVU is currently airing in the UK on Sky Witness and Now TV.

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