Jennifer Esposito plays detective Jackie Curatola on CBS' 'Blue Bloods'... or at least, she used to. After collapsing on set, Esposito's character was placed on indefinite leave, after CBS issued a statement that the actor was "unable to perform the demands of her role." The network's decision to side-line Esposito, who suffers from Celiac disease, was lambasted by Esposito herself on twitter yesterday where the 'Blue Bloods' star decided to offer her side of the story.
After CBS' statement insinuated that Esposito requested the leave of absence, Esposito herself set the story straight by posting the following:
“CBS PUT me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you 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! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping Me from working anywhere else!… Absolutely shameful behavior.” (source: Deadline.com)
As Esposito explains, the actress needed a mere week off of work for health issues and CBS brass decided to extend that indefinitely. As Esposito has been an outspoken sufferer of Celiac disease and an advocate for further awareness regarding the ever-growing epidemic of the condition, CBS execs had to know that she wasn't going to take her removal lying down.
Esposito had already wrapped shooting on her final 'Blue Bloods' episode, slated to air on November 2. On the series, Esposito portrayed Danny Reagan's partner--the plot has been amended to include a spate of guest stars to fill in as Reagan's temporary partners, in Esposito's extended absence. Megan Ketch, fresh off of a guest starring role on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,' will be the first replacement partner, having signed on for four episodes of 'Blue Bloods.'
At the time of their initial statement, CBS made it clear that the door was open for Esposito to return to the series in the future. Now, having been publically shamed, time will tell if that policy has been reconsidered.
How will CBS respond? Stick with TVRage for the latest on this budding drama.