‘Blue Bloods’: Some Fans Still Aren’t Over This Controversial Cast Departure

They say there are two sides to every story, but in Hollywood, there seems to be an endless supply of narratives that are ever-changing. This seems to be the case with Jennifer Esposito, who was fired from Blue Bloods. She seemed to get along well with her coworkers, fans loved her, and ratings were going strong.

Then CBS let her go. So why was she fired, and are the rumors that CBS wanted an all white cast true? Screen Rant has the answers.

Donnie Wahlberg and Jennifer Esposito
Danny (Donnie Wahlberg and Jackie (Jennifer Esposito) | John P. Filo/CBS via Getty Images

Esposito’s role on Blue Bloods

While Esposito never had a major role on the show, she played Detective Jackie Curatola for the first three seasons. She was Detective Danny Reagan’s partner.

The last episode she appeared in was ‘Nightmares.’ While Esposito didn’t want to leave the show, her character, Detective Curatola, said that she couldn’t even go on vacation without thinking about the job, so she left police work to find something less stressful.

CBS hinted that Esposito’s character might return in the future, but so far has failed to do so.

Jennifer Esposito’s health problems

According to Pop Culture TV, Esposito reportedly collapsed on set while filming. Her doctor later diagnosed her with celiac disease and placed her on medical leave. The Blast reports that CBS was aware Esposito knew she had Celiac’s prior to her collapse, and treated the whole incident as if she was looking for a raise.

If you’ve never heard of celiac disease, you aren’t alone. Essentially, it’s a gluten allergy that attacks the small intestines. The Celiac Foundation reports that it can be treated by not eating food with gluten, such as wheat, rye, and barley.

Esposito would have probably needed a few days for her body to recover, but with a proper diet, she should have been fine.

Jennifer Esposito fired from ‘Blue Bloods’

According to the Huff Post, Esposito was placed on suspension. She was unable to work as an actress for another role, but she also wasn’t getting paid. According to Cinema Blend, CBS treated the suspension as a time for Esposito to heal up before she returned.

Esposito obviously didn’t agree and had a lot to say about it on interviews and over Twitter.

CBS spoke out to Hollywood Reporter and stated:

“Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role, and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence. She is a wonderfully talented actress, and we hope that she will be able to return at some point in the future.”

‘Blue Bloods’: An all-white cast?

According to Screen Rant, Esposito said that CBS wanted an “all-white cast” for Blue Bloods. But that’s not actually true. There are plenty of minority characters on Blue Bloods, as you can see on TV Guide. David Ramsey has played Mayor Carter Poole since 2011. 

Other actors who prove Blue Bloods is definitely not all white include LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Nicholas Turturro, Tamara Tunie, Selenis Leyva, and Luis Antonio Ramos.

While the main cast might be primarily white, this is because it is based off a family who all chose to go into law enforcement. There are plenty of other characters that balance out the cast, and prove that Esposito’s claims, in regards to the casting issue, are not true. 

‘Law and Order: SVU’

CBS may not have asked her to come back to Blue Bloods, but that hasn’t stopped Esposito from finding work elsewhere. In January 2019, TV Insider reports that Esposito would be joining the cast of Law and Order: SVU.

While fans of Esposito are looking forward to seeing her back on the small screen, they aren’t happy that she hasn’t returned to Blue Bloods, but it looks like there might be too much bad blood there to move forward.