Elliot Staber, played by Christopher Meloni, was written out of the NCIS: SVU storyline in 2011, after the actor was involved in a dispute with the show’s producers.
Elliot Staber’s exit from NCIS: SVU remains one of the biggest plot twists in the storyline, as viewers were uncertain how the show would carry on without one of the main characters. In 2011, Christopher Meloni, who plays Elliot, announced that he would be leaving the show after a contractual dispute, which ultimately resulted in him being written out of the series. However, the writers didn’t kill off the character, leaving fans hopeful about his return. This allowed for him to make a comeback in season 22, which premiered on Thursday, 1 April 2021, for one episode only.
Christopher spoke to People magazine in February 2021, where he explained that he didn’t leave the show on good terms, and admitted to having regrets about the incident. He stated, “But for me, it was about how things fell out – and the word I’ll use is that it was inelegant. At the end of the day, how it was handled was, ‘Okay, see you later.’ So, I went, ‘That’s fine. We’re all big boys and girls here. See you later.’ And I was off on new adventures and doing what I wanted to do. Telling the stories, I wanted to tell.”