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Showtime Attempts to Explain Ruth Wilson’s ‘The Affair’ Exit: Alison’s Story Line Had ‘Run Its Course’

Ruth Wilson as Alison in The AffairCraig Blankenhorn/SHOWTIME

Something seems off. Showtime released a statement on Thursday, August 16, hours after The Affair star Ruth Wilson appeared on CBS This Morning. During her interview, the first since her character Alison Bailey was killed off, the actress, 36, stated that she chose to leave the Showtime drama but is “not allowed to talk about why.”

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“We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season 4, everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course,” Showtime said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment. The impact of her loss will be felt as the series concludes next season. We thank the many fans who embraced the character of Alison and especially thank Ruth for her indelible work over the past four seasons.”

So, whose choice was it to kill off Alison? Following the August 5 episode, in which the audience found out that Alison was dead, showrunner Sarah Treem opened up about the shocker to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Ruth wanted to leave the show. That was a request, so that was decided basically before we started writing. It wasn’t a discovery of any kind. That was very deliberate,” she said at the time. “And actually, we shot all of her work first. Her whole story line was shot before we shot anything else.”

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Treem also said that while it wasn’t in her mind from the beginning that Alison would die, it was always an option.

“As any parent would ask themselves in that terrible situation — even hypothetically as you do sometimes — would you be able to survive it? So that was always a question that I had for the Alison character as a kind of an existential question. How does a parent survive it? And would this character ultimately be able to? That is a question that she was asking herself when we first met her, before she met Noah,” the Golden Globe winner, 38, said. “And in so many ways the impetus for the affair from Alison’s perspective was trying to outrun that pain. It was always a possibility for Alison somewhere in my mind that she wouldn’t ultimately survive.”

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The season 4 finale of The Affair airs on Showtime Sunday, August 19.

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