In April 2019, it was announced that Jon Seda, who played Detective Antonio Dawson for much of NBC’s One Chicago franchise, would be leaving the Chicago PD after season 6. The news came as an abrupt blow to fans who had been following his character’s progress for years and Seda’s eventual departure from Chicago PD coincided with two other major departures from the franchise: Colin Donnell and Norma Kuhling, who played doctors Connor Rhodes and Ava Bekker on Chicago Med.
The simple answer as to why Jon Seda left the Chicago PD is a traditional euphemism: creative differences. At the time news of Seda’s impending departure was made public, sources close to Deadline indicated that the reason stemmed from “creative reasons related to the evolution of the character’s history.”
The outlet also reported that the producers of Chicago Police, with whom Seda was said to have a strong working relationship, felt that Detective Dawson had “burned out”, ultimately leading to his departure from the series.
Although Jon Seda was “well-liked” by the producers and seemed level-headed when discussing the news of his departure from Chicago PD, calling his time as Detective Dawson “an honor” and not seeming remorseful about leaving the show, it feels unfair that he had to. him walking away from the series immediately after the showrunners wrote an addiction relapse for his character.
That said, there remains a possibility that Jon Seda will reprise his role at an unspecified time in the future. Chicago P.D. showrunner Rick Eid explained to CinemaBlend after the departure that “the door is always open for someone like Jon Seda.” Oddly enough, the show’s creative team even tried to argue with Seda for the first episode of season 7 of Chicago P.D.
So, let’s get this straight: the Chicago PD team went through the entire process of announcing Seda was done, the actor said a heartfelt goodbye, the producers went to what appears to be significant trouble to get him back for an episode (something that could decided during the last contract negotiation as a last hurray before calling it off), so he said it’s totally cool if he wants to come back? Those are some seriously mixed messages.
In general, it is considered polite practice to rhetorically allow the possibility that a character could return in public statements without commitment, but in this case, the producers and/or the network are very confused by writing off a main star and then, of course, Suddenly struggling to bring him back just before filming begins.