Jennifer Esposito, who plays Donnie Wahlberg’s partner on the CBS cop drama Blue Bloods, blasted the network on Twitter on Saturday for allegedly misrepresenting the circumstances that have prompted a leave of absence from the show.
The tweets came quickly after Deadline.com reported that Esposito was no longer at work on Blue Bloods (now in its third season) and that her last appearance will be in the episode scheduled to air on November 2. The story initially made no mention of tensions between Esposito and CBS Studios, which produces Blue Bloods. In a statement, CBS Studios told Deadline: “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.” In a series of Tweets that began Saturday evening, Esposito — who suffers from Celiac disease – accused CBS of sidelining her for more dubious reasons. After an initial Tweet that seemed to suggest “the article” was an attempt by CBS to “save face” Esposito then wrote six more Tweets (presented without correction):
“CBS knows PUT me on unpaid leave an has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doc said u needed a reduced schedule due to celiac …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 brining me back to work + keeping… Me from working anywhere else! So no that article is not telling you the truth. Absolutely shameful behavior … If you feel this is unjust use your voice. That’s all we have sometimes … I love you all for the support need to rest now the whole situation brakes my heart. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo”
Esposito may have spurred CBS to issue a statement by hinting at the situation before the Deadline story broke. On Oct. 19, the actress began retweeting comments from followers who were aware that she was no longer working and who were accusing CBS of discrimination and calling on Esposito’s fans to protest.
Asked for comment, CBS provided EW with a longer version of the statement reported by Deadline. “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.”
CBS declined to comment on Esposito’s Tweets.