The news was revealed on Thursday, March 8, via Deadline, that the two longtime cast members will be leaving the hit ABC series after this season. Sources revealed that Capshaw, who plays Dr. Arizona Robbins, and Drew, who plays Dr. April Kepner, are exiting due to the show’s creative direction and said that no other series regulars are expected to leave.
The show’s creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes, thanked the actresses for the work they did on the series in a statement via Instagram. “It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters,” Rhimes wrote. “Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV. I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family.”
“The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew,” co-showrunner Krista Vernoff said in her statement. “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 phenomenally talented actresses.”
Drew, 37, reacted to her upcoming exit with a statement on Twitter. “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. 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 nine years here,” she wrote. “For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet. And the really good news (for me at least) is that I’m here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey’s family all this week and next, so I get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade. For that, I am so grateful.”
Her character, April, shares a daughter with Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and fans are now worried about their future after the announcement. One Twitter user wrote: “The only damn reason I watch now is to see if April and Jackson get back together. Done.”
Drew also shared a series of selfies with her costar on Twitter, writing: “Happy #InternationalWomenDay2018 to this glorious and beautiful soul. I love you @JessicaCapshaw. #kepzonaforever.”
— Sarah Drew (@sarahdrew) March 8, 2018
Capshaw, 41, also opened up about her departure. “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 members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever.”
— Jessica Capshaw (@JessicaCapshaw) March 8, 2018
She added: “Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster. With a heart full of love, Jessica.”
Before they were promoted to series regulars, Capshaw first joined the show as a recurring role in season 5 and Drew joined the cast in season 6. Both characters and the actresses are beloved by Grey’s fans and viewers quickly took to Twitter to express how displeased they were about their departures.
Scroll down to see some reactions from Grey’s Anatomy fans about Capshaw and Drew leaving the show.
— Anmol Khan (@annie_redcape) March 8, 2018
i honesty thoughts greys anatomy and everyone behind the scenes were better than this but if they can get rid of two of their best actresses who love their job so much then i’ve really lost all respect for greys anatomy and everyone who works behind the scenes.
— siobhan (@lesbianicrbbins) March 8, 2018
— Colleen Wisdom (@collycapmin) March 8, 2018
Oh my they only told Sarah drew 48 hours ago…wow…that girl was ride or die for you greys anatomy and you shat on her through all the shit you’ve put April Kepner through…im so done
— Meagan (@Moonorchid) March 8, 2018
WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH. BOTH JESSICA CAPSHAW AND SARAH DREW EXITING AT THE END OF SEASON 14
Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. I will not allow this #GreysAnatomy pic.twitter.com/Q35PdKocXW
— Courtney (@AnatomyMer93) March 8, 2018
— ᴄʜᴇʟsᴇᴀ🌹#DefendDACA (@agreysfantasy) March 8, 2018
greys anatomy getting rid of sarah drew and jessica capshaw? they are literally going to get themselves cancelled because hardly anybody will watch the show now 💀
— shan . HBD LIBS 💛 (@ameliascrsones) March 8, 2018
Now Jackson and April won’t get back together😭😩 lol show is dying 😭 pic.twitter.com/2HbXUprMxc
— Diane Pimentel (@Causeimdianee) March 8, 2018
greys anatomy should be called “we get rid of the best characters so we can pay more to ellen pompeo”
— Any 🔥 #supergirl (@alexdanvers22) March 8, 2018
— barbtrix. (@calszona) March 8, 2018
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