It’s a beautiful day to… say goodbye to April and Arizona? Grey’s Anatomy fans are in shock after the surprising announcement that Sarah Drew (April Kepner) and Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins) are exiting the medical drama after Season 14. Deadline broke the news that Jessica, who has been on the show for 10 seasons, and Sarah, who has been on for nine seasons, will be written out of the show following the current season.
The producers of the ABC drama made the decision in order to take the show in a new creative direction. “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 Krista Vernoff said. “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 news doesn’t only come as a shock to viewers, but also to the actresses. “Thank you for all of the love,” Sarah wrote on Twitter. “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 continued, “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. 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.”
Viewers first met Arizona as Callie Torres’ love-interest and met April as the mousy surgeon from Mercy-West Hospital. Over time, both characters became crucial to the Grey’s family. “It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters,” Shonda Rhimes added about their exits. “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.”
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