Blue Bloods actress Jennifer Esposito is not taking her character being written out of the show lightly. She is going to the Twitter masses and accusing the network of “absolutely shameful behavior” for putting her on unpaid leave because her Celiac Disease is not allowing her to work as much as the show requires.
On Saturday, CBS TV Studios released a statement to Deadline, saying, “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.” They also said, “She is a wonderfully talented actress and we hope that she will be able to return at some point in the future.”
Then Esposito fired back on Twitter (tweets are below), saying she’s been diagnosed with Celiac disease (which she has been very public about) and requires a reduced work schedule. She said CBS believes she is trying to get a raise with this schedule reduction. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat.
In her Tweets she said the network has blocked her from getting work elsewhere, that she collapsed on set and CBS didn’t care and that there seem to be no plans to bring her character back as of now. From her Tweet it looks like she only asked for a week off when all this started. Though it is sometimes hard to feel bad for rich, TV stars, working on a series, especially a drama is intense work. When a show is in production, there really aren’t sick days. Clearly, executives at CBS either do think she is just trying to get more money, don’t believe Celiacs is a real disease or don’t think the character can continue as part of the series in a reduced format.
But as April Peveteaux of The Stir wrote right now this looks like Esposito asked for some time off because she was sick and the studio said, ‘You’re fired.” April, who is also a celiac, wrote:
“Celiac is a very serious disease, and most often wildly misunderstood. Every celiac is different, and Esposito says she needs some vitamin IV treatments, as well as less stress. While I might just need to eat gluten-free and a ton of coffee to work those long hours, all of our bodies react differently to this auto immune disease.”
She also pointed out that Two & A Half Men, another CBS production, was often held up because of Charlie Sheen’s “exhaustion” but he didn’t get fired….right away. There seems to be a double standard in Hollywood when it comes to male and female actors. Mila Kunis recently spoke out about the harsher treatment of actresses when it comes to behavior. And she’s right. We give Charlie Sheen a new series on FX and a roast on Comedy Central after he has a full on public breakdown riddled with addiction and destruction (and let’s not forget this man is the father to five children and actually shot someone once) and yet we tell Lindsay Lohan day after day she is lucky to be getting a career comeback. Not that Lindsay’s behavior isn’t terrible, but is it as terrible as Sheen’s? And let’s not forget, he has 20-something years on her. Producer Richard O’Sullivan said, “Lindsay hasn’t been keeping entire prostitution rings in business. Charlie has. Lindsay hasn’t destroyed personal property like Charlie has. Still, Lindsay’s a pariah and yet when Charlie does it, it’s just ‘boys being boys’.”
Now this is a health issue with Jennifer, but sadly I feel like the same standards apply.