This is a HUGE shock. Two of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s biggest female characters are leaving the show when the current season ends.
Warning, Grey’s Anatomy fans: this news is going to hurt. Both Sarah Drew, 37, and Jessica Capshaw, 41, are saying goodbye to Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital, reports our sister site, Deadline. The decision was made by the show’s producers, according to the report, adding that they are the only two series regulars who will be departing when season 14 ends later this year. Sarah has been on the show as Dr. April Kepner for eight seasons, while Jessica has played Dr. Arizona Robbins for ten. Fans will definitely be upset when it’s time to say goodbye to their characters.
“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,” executive producer and co-showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a 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.”
The show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, also released a statement that alludes to the idea we might see Jessica and Sarah’s characters again in the future. “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. 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.”
For now, it’s unclear how the characters of Arizona and April will make their departure. While Shonda’s statement seems to suggest there’s a chance either character could return, the show is notorious for killing off major characters. For example: Patrick Dempsey‘s Dr. Shepherd was killed after a car accident, while Eric Dane‘s Dr. Sloane was killed after surviving a small plane crash. Other characters like Sandra Oh‘s Cristina Yang left the country to pursue medicine elsewhere, and Katherine Heigl‘s Izzie Stevens remains MIA after all these years.