Another favorite character on Grey’s Anatomy is leaving the show.
In the most recent episode, “Look Up Kid,” Jesse Williams reveals that he is no longer playing Dr. Jackson Avery.
Grey’s Anatomy executive producer and showrunner Krista Vernoff said, “Jesse Williams is a remarkable activist and artist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift.”
“Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work,” Krista continued. “We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery—played to perfection for so many years.”
Jesse is the most recent Grey’s Anatomy actor to leave the show. On the Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy crossover episode this season, Giacomo Giannotti’s character Andrew DeLuca, Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) boyfriend, died after being stabbed by an attempted kidnapper.
Dr. Alex Karev, Justin Chambers’ character, left the show in January. Justin announced his departure from the show after 16 seasons in order to “diversify my acting opportunities and career choices” at the time.
Jesse said in a statement, “I will be eternally grateful to Shonda [Rhimes], the network, studio, fellow cast members, our amazing crew, Krista, Ellen, and Debbie [Allen] for providing me with limitless opportunities. As an actor, producer, and human, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to learn so much from so many people, and I thank our wonderful fans for infusing our mutual worlds with so much energy and appreciation.”
He went on to say, “The experience and stamina gained from producing nearly 300 hours of top-rated international television is a blessing I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I’m incredibly proud of our work, our impact, and the fact that we’re moving forward with so many resources, opportunities, allies, and close friends.”
“Don’t think so. ‘bout to make a sandwich,” he tweeted ahead of the Thursday, May 6 episode, in response to Camilla Luddington’s tweet that “something big’s happening tonight.”
Meanwhile, Ellen expressed her gratitude to Sarah Drew for reprising her role as April Kepner so that Dr. Avery could receive the proper send-off he deserved. “To be honest, it’s a little emotional, but I’m grateful to @sarahdrew for returning so that this episode can be all for the fans! She’s just as committed to you as you are to her!”
On Thursday, May 20, Jesse will make his last appearance as Dr. Avery in the episode “Tradition.”