‘Law & Order’s Demore Barnes addresses abrupt exit: ‘I don't totally know why this happened’

Demore Barnes attends the premiere of STARZ's "American Gods"
Photo credit Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

“Law & Order: SVU” star Demore Barnes is speaking out about his departure from the long-running crime series.

The 45-year-old actor, who played Deputy Chief Christian Garland, said that he was “surprised” to learn of his character’s departure from the script, according to Deadline.

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"While I know you were happy that I was here, and that I'm happy that I was here, I also know you're sad and surprised and I am too," Barnes said in a video posted on Instagram titled "My SVU statement."

He added: "I don't totally know why this happened."

Barnes gave a special mention to co-star Mariska Hargitay for "spearheading [his] shift to series regular" last season. He went on to thank NBC for allowing the voices of survivors, while calling for more opportunities for marginalized people.

He explained that his character was the “first black Deputy Chief in SVU history."

"I hope that Wolf Entertainment's leadership, in giving me opportunity amplify vital voice and story, will result in many studios continuing to open doors of opportunities for others to do the same," he continued. "This must continue." He concluded the post, "Chief Garland and I would not have it any other way. I love you all and thank you for loving me back. I'll see you soon."

Barnes and co-star Jamie Gray Hyder, who plays Officer Kat Tamin, are exiting the show ahead of the season 23 premiere. The outlet notes that details of the departure will addressed during the episode.

They both joined the show in season 21 and were upped to series regulars last season.

Last week, fans of the show got word that Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler's relationship is heading for new territory.

During a recent Q&A, Christopher Meloni, who plays Stabler, said there would be a “riot” when the content of his character’s letter to Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson is disclosed.

When asked about the incident, Meloni replied, “The letter is addressed this season and I think [fans are] going to set [their] heads on fire when it happens.” He added, “I think there’s going to be a riot.”

Last month, Meloni put “Law & Order” fans in a frenzy after posting a very up close and personal snap alongside his franchise costar.

In the photo, Meloni and Hargitay stare at each other with their faces almost touching. In the scandalous picture, in which the background looks like an abandoned industrial building, it seems that the two stars were going in for a smooch.

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