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Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay Confirmed Why Benson & Stabler Didn't Kiss

For over 20 years, fans of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" have had one question on their minds — when are Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) going to get together? NBC has occasionally turned the heat up on the couple via crossover episodes and guest shots from Meloni since the actor left "SVU" during Season 12. A prime example of this was when the network released a promo where the couple seemed poised to kiss. The moment — which occurred during Season 24, Episode 12 of "SVU" — instead ended with Olivia pulling away before they could touch. 

A letdown to fans at the time, it turns out that Hargitay and Meloni were actually pushing for a different result — but executive producer Dick Wolf went with another idea. "To be honest with you, Chris and I thought it should go one way and the powers that be didn't, so it got changed at the last minute, that near kiss. Obviously Dick gets final say. It's his show and he didn't want that," she told Variety.

There have been many near-misses between the two over the years, even if it seemed as if they'd never get together because Elliot was happily married. But the death of his wife Kathy (Isabel Gillies) has blown that door wide open. Now it seems as if the only thing keeping the longtime partners apart is the fact that they're on two different shows. Meanwhile, Hargitay — who has been an executive producer on "Law and Order: SVU" since Season 14 — adds that Wolf has made other choices she doesn't like.

Mariska Hargitay fought another Dick Wolf decision

While Mariska Hargitay does wield a lot of influence on the set of "Law and Order: SVU" as an executive producer, she told Variety that at least one choice Wolf made rankled her — writing Kelli Giddish off the program. She fought to retain Giddish and her character, Amanda Rollins, but was overruled. She's currently hoping to bring Giddish back for Season 26.

"Kelli is my favorite actor to work with. Kelli is my heart. It's a sore subject. I have a lot of say on the show, but I didn't have enough there. I don't like not being listened to, especially when I'm right," she told the magazine.

For fans worried that the tension between Stabler and Benson might be a casualty of Dick Wolf's vision for the series, Hargitay — who long ago confirmed what we've long suspected and admitted that Benson has a crush on Stabler –  promises that it will continue to bubble, even with Elliot now busy on the Peacock-bound "Law and Order: Organized Crime."  "We want to hold the tension. And do what's right and truthful for both characters," she said, adding that, should "Organized Crime" meet with cancellation in the future, it's possible Stabler might move back to "SVU." "I think that we're sort of irrevocably locked," she said. And Bensler shippers wouldn't have it any other way.