Chelsea Peretti's Exit From Brooklyn Nine-Nine Is Still A Mystery

The cast, crew, and viewers of the hit series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" endured some wild swings of emotion throughout the show's original run. Canceled by Fox prior to its sixth season, only a dedicated and fiercely vocal internet campaign kickstarted by the many fans dismayed to see the story end before its time helped salvage the show. Once it was picked up again by NBC, the creative team behind the sitcom then had to figure out how exactly to balance such a comedic tone with the very real controversy surrounding policing in the United States. Navigating these fraught waters proved immensely tricky, leading to a palpable tension between the realities of the show's cop-centric premise and the well-intentioned writers attempting to remain self-critical about the systemic racism prevalent in policing.

On top of all this behind-the-scenes turmoil, viewers also had to come to terms with seeing one of the show's most popular characters — Gina Linetti, played by the fan-favorite Chelsea Peretti — mysteriously having her role reduced as time went on (including one notable run-in with a bus). Episode four of season 6 spelled the end of Peretti as a series regular, with the character written off as leaving the precinct to pursue her own dreams. Thankfully, that didn't mark her final appearance as she made occasional guest appearances throughout the final two seasons.

Still, fans have never received a straight answer as to why exactly this departure was made necessary in the first place. Even in an in-depth interview with THR at the time that Peretti's final episode as a series regular aired, the actor steered clear of detailing any specifics, other than the fact that it was "mutual" and "amicable."

'This was the time to do it'

Of all the mysteries that Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his squad mates solved over the years during the show's run, Chelsea Peretti's abrupt exit from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" still stands out. Unfortunately, the actor herself didn't clarify the situation much when directly asked about why she was making her departure back in season 6. As she told THR at the time:

"Well, it wasn't just a solo process. [Laughs.] I wasn't just like, 'I'm leaving!' and I swing my cape. I can't get into the exact breakdown of how it all transpired, but it wasn't just my solo decision. I'm friends with [co-creator] Dan [Goor], I'm friends with Andy [Samberg], I've talked with them about the situation over the years. I think it came together this was the time to do it. It's not always easy to make changes in life, but I feel like everyone came to a point where everyone was like, 'OK, this is the time.' That's the gist of it."

Despite the evasive answer, it's telling that Peretti initially described the decision to leave as one that involved multiple parties beyond just herself. Fans already received a brief taste of life without Gina Linetti when the actor went on maternity leave during the first half of season 5. However, taking the drastic step of stepping down as a series regular altogether in season 6 felt like something else entirely. As tight-lipped as the actor was about the exact circumstances, reading between the lines a bit helps clarify things.

'It was somewhat mutual. And it was amicable. '

A constant source of wit, grandiosity, and charisma as one of the most larger-than-life characters on the show, Peretti always commanded the room's attention whenever Gina appeared in any given scene. That certainly helps explain why her reduced workload stirred as much attention as it did, though the actor repeatedly avoided getting into exactly why it happened this way. In the same interview with THR, Peretti was asked a follow-up question as to whether the decision to write her off the show came from the writers or herself. As she put it in her usual self-deprecating way:

"[Laughs.] That's the part that I'm deliberately not clarifying, because I feel like I can't get into the exact breakdown [of what happened]. I'm just a lowly actor out here without much status. Everyone's like, 'Hey, do a bunch of interviews.' And I'm like, 'Alright. I don't know how to talk about it.' But I feel like it's one of those things ... you write about Hollywood all the time. No one can ever fully say the whole story of what's going on. But the gist is it was somewhat mutual. And it was amicable. That's the best way I can put it."

Obviously there was a lot more going on here than meets the eye, though ultimately no amount of satisfying explanations was ever going to change the end result. To the delight of many, Peretti made one last appearance in the final episode of the series in season 8, proving that there was no lingering animosity whatsoever. Whatever the real reason may have been, Gina Linetti will always remain one of the most beloved characters of any recent sitcom.