Adriyan Rae as Gianna Mackey in Chicago Fire
Credit: Getty Images

First responders come and go on Chicago Fire, but Adriyan Rae’s exit in season 9 had fans confused about why Gianna Mackey left Chicago Fire after only appearing in one season. Keep reading to learn exactly what happened to Adriyan Rae in Chicago Fire.

Chicago Fire, the widely successful first responder drama on NBC, follows the stories of firefighters, rescue personnel and paramedics of Chicago Fire Department’s Firehouse 51. Mackey is played by actress Adriyan Rae, a paramedic of Ambulance 61 who works alongside paramedic-in-charge Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer). She was introduced to Firehouse 51 in the premiere episode of season 9, “Rattle Second City,” as a new member of the team. She replaced Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh), who left Ambulance 61 to become a doctor. We also learn that Mackey is a close friend of Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) and he is extremely protective of her because of their past.

When Rae first got the role, she told Tell-Tale TV in November 2020 that it wasn’t her first time auditioning for the Chicago universe. “I had been auditioning for the Chicago shows for two years, but it was mainly [Chicago] P.D.,” she said in the interview. Rae also shared her excitement in a now-deleted Instagram post shared by TV Insider in September 2020. “It truly is a marathon; and the persistence really paid off! I’m GRATEFUL, EXCITED, OVERJOYED… (Im actually not sure I can find the exact words to express it) but I’m so freakin grateful and excited to be joining the phenomenal cast of @nbcchicagofire !!” she wrote in the now-deleted post. “I finally get to put these medical degrees to use all while being surrounded by some of the best to ever do it!”

Considering Rae’s excitement to join Chicago Fire and her substantial role in season 9, why did the actress leave after filming only nine episodes? Read on to find out.

Why did Gianna Mackey leave Chicago Fire?

Gianna and Sylvie in Chicago Fire

Why did Gianna Mackey leave Chicago Fire? Actress Adriyan Rae left the show for undisclosed personal reasons. Showrunner Derek Haas spoke with Entertainment Weekly in March 2021 about Rae’s exit and how he found out she wanted to leave Chicago Fire.

“Adriyan let us know she had some private reasons to leave Chicago,” he explained. “To hear that as a showrunner, you absolutely respect what an actor needs. All I can say is we love her, and I know she’s going to be great on some other series. And she left 51 on great terms, so there’s a chance we could check in on her. We’re always looking for something to boost up a crossover! I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Mackey in Firehouse 51.”


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Rae announced her departure in an emotional Instagram montage, which included photos with costar Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) in their uniforms. “I ask that you extend to me the same grace, space, and understanding you’d want in any transitional time, and realize that while it is sad, some things are really only meant for a season and that’s okay. And that I am a human and we are all growing,” she said of her decision to leave.

Read Rae’s full statement, below:

“[ chicago fire ] though it’s coming to an unexpected end, this journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. I have learned sooo many valuable lessons, gone through acting Olympics and come out stronger, and most importantly, met & made so many amazing friends. Thank you to every director, producer, crew member, cast member, transpo, catering, Dick Wolf, and the whole camp. EVERYONE INVOLVED IN ANY CAPACITY! You’ve been amazing and you’re so appreciated. I am forever grateful for each and every one of you and you’re my Fire family for life. We did it! Together we created a beautiful character who is dynamic, and someone I’m very proud I got to portray. Until we all work again, I’m always sending you love and light. And to the fans, my God you’re so loved! Thank you for all your support and I am so humbled you all found something lovable and relatable in Gianna Mackey. I ask that you extend to me the same grace, space, and understanding you’d want in any transitional time, and realize that while it is sad, some things are really only meant for a season and that’s okay. And that I am a human and we are all growing. Great things are coming and we are all exactly where we are supposed to be. with love | with light | from a forever ChiHard- A.Rae”

Following her exit in Chicago Fire, Rae began her next project in 2021 with Paramount+’s revival TV series, The Game, as Brittany Pitts. The show was renewed for a second season, which premiered in December 2022.

How was Gianna Mackey written off Chicago Fire?

Gianna Mackey and Joe Cruz in Chicago Fire

So, how was Gianna Mackey written off Chicago Fire? In season 9, episode 9, Mackey was offered a position at another firehouse. Mackey talks with Cruz and tells him she’s worried about working at 51 again because she’s concerned about him. Cruz tells Mackey that she should take the transfer, and she ultimately decides to do so. Mackey hasn’t been seen on Chicago Fire since her departure in season 9.

Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Check out our photo gallery of Chicago Fire stars and their real-life loves.