Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew & Jessica Capshaw Exiting This Season
This is the saddest Grey's Anatomy news since Derek Shepherd was killed off the show in 2011. On Thursday, Deadline reported that two major characters, Sarah Drew’s Dr. April Kepner and Jessica Capshaw’s Dr. Arizona Robbins, are leaving the medical drama at the end of season 14 which will air this spring.
“It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters,” said executive producer Shonda Rhimes. “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.”
Sarah and Jessica also posted heartfelt messages to their fans via Twitter.
— Sarah Drew (@sarahdrew) March 8, 2018
— Jessica Capshaw (@JessicaCapshaw) March 8, 2018
Jesse Williams, who plays Dr. Jackson Avery and was Sarah's TV husband for years, isn't happy about his co-stars' controversial exits either. “Sarah and Jessica are easily among my very favorite people and co-workers, so this news f**kin' sucks,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “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. To say they'll be missed is a massive understatement.”
“Luckily for all of us, we'll get to see these artists continue bringing compelling and complex characters to life for many moons to come!” he added in a second tweet.
Just a few hours after news broke, Ellen Pompeo, who plays series lead Dr. Meredith Grey, also broke her silence about her long-time co-stars not returning for season 15. But, it wasn't to wish the ladies well or to comment on how sad she is to see them go. Instead, she called out a report that blamed her for these actresses getting fired. In January, Ellen signed a two-year deal with Grey’s Anatomy, worth over $20 million. The Deadline article implied that her new salary impacted the show's budget and as a result Sarah and Jessica were let go because of it.
But, Ellen was not going to let this misogynist rumor get twisted, so she quickly responded to the allegation. “I’m a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don’t fall into that trap,” she wrote on Twitter. “This is above my pay grade.”
“Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against each other on #InternationalWomensDay #shameonyounotme,” she added.
Deadline has since published an update to its story, clarifying that, “there is no such connection [between Ellen's new salary and the exit] that we are aware of. Because this has become an issue, pitting women against each other on International Women’s Day, we are making it clear.”
As of right now, we have no idea how either of their characters will be written off the show. However, one thing is for sure: it'll be very hard to say goodbye to Arizona and April in May.