“Sarah and Jessica are easily among my favorite people and coworkers, so this news f—kin sucks. Their immense talent speaks for itself but it’s them as people that I’m so grateful to know, privileged to have worked with and learned from them,” the 36-year-old actor tweeted on Thursday, March 8. “To say they’ll be missed is a massive understatement. Luckily for us, we’ll get to see these artists continue bringing compelling and complex characters to life for many moons to come! #OurWorkIsForever.”
Williams and Drew, 37, portrayed on-again, off-again fan favorite couple Dr. Jackson Avery and Dr. April Kepner on the hit medical drama. Deadline reported on Thursday that Drew and Capshaw (Dr. Arizona Robbins) will be leaving the ABC series at the end of season 14 due to the show’s creative decision.
Executive producer and show creator Shonda Rhimes thanked the women for their work in a statement via Instagram, writing “It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters. Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV.”
Showrunner Krista Vernoff also issued a statement defending the award-winning series’ decision to let Capshaw and Drew go. “As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phonemically talented actresses.”
Despite reports saying otherwise, Vernoff also denied that lead Ellen Pompeo’s salary increase was a factor in letting the two actresses go. Capshaw and Drew have both spoken out about their upcoming exits via statements on social media.
“Thank you for all of the love. I know you’re sad, I’m sad too. I haven’t really had the time to process this information,” Drew shared on Instagram. “I’ve been with it for less than 48 hours, so I’m not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later. For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet.”
Capshaw also thanked fans for their support and expressed her gratitude for the opportunity. “For the past ten years I have had the privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins but also being madly in love with playing her,” she tweeted. “Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful fierce and really good at her job. She was one of the first member of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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