NCIS: New Orleans’ Shalita Grant discusses ‘physical damage’ that contributed to her exit

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Grant was first introduced as a recurring character in the NCIS spin-off’s first season before joining the main cast. However, she decided to leave the long-running CBS franchise in 2018 and has now spoken out about the “physical damage” she suffered on the set of NCIS: New Orleans.

The NCIS regular revealed she decided to quit the series after sustaining hair damage which forced her to wear a number of different wigs during filming.

Fans of the series may have noticed Agent Percy’s hairstyle constantly changing, often within the same episode.

The actress has now recalled her experience with hair damage which pushed her towards quitting.

“It was about a year and a half in the making,” she said on the recent Tamron Hall Show.

“So I had started documenting some of the physical damage that was going on – it’s harder to document the emotional damage.”

The actress has posted a number of updates on Instagram documenting the experience.

Her hair loss meant the CBS series tried out a number of different wigs for the character, none of which stuck over the course of her four-season tenure.

She went on: “In the front of my hair I was threatening baldness, so when I came back for season four and everybody on Twitter let me know, ‘That looks like a helmet’.

“By that point, I didn’t care anymore, because I was protecting myself.”

Grant also felt she was being treated differently to her white co-stars in the series, and revealed she had to pay for her wigs despite the show’s substantial budget.

“You’re like, ‘Okay, like, that sucks, like, I have to pay for my own wigs, I have to come with my hair done, but this is the multimillion-dollar production’,” she said. 

“But then to get blamed for production, right? Like we all know time is money.”

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The former NCIS star also recalled an incident in which she felt she had been blamed for being difficult during filming.

At one point, she explained, her white co-stars were reluctant to cross the street in the rain as they would need to blow-dry their hair afterwards.

However, Grant claims the truth was twisted after the fact to put the focus on her objections.

She continued: “Well, that story got turned into ‘Shalita couldn’t walk across the street in the rain’ and that kind of story.”

“It becomes, ‘She’s hard to work with’. But the truth is, I wasn’t being worked with… So I have to save myself.”

Her experience ultimately led to quitting the series earlier than she might have done otherwise.

Percy’s departure was explained by the agent joining up with the FBI after her stint with NCIS: New Orleans, which then ran for three more seasons.

Most recently, Grant has starred in the latest season of You on Netflix as ‘momfluencer’ Sherry Conrad.

NCIS season 19 continues Mondays on CBS.

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