Keep those tissues handy as Jesse Williams has just bid goodbye to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, handing another blow to the long-running medical drama that has already seen one lead star depart this season.
Williams, who plays Dr Jackson Avery on the show, will appear on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on the final episode of season 17 titled ‘Tradition’. The news was confirmed by the actor, along with showrunner, Krista Vernoff while speaking to Variety.
“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. 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. We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years,” Vernoff told Variety.
Williams plays a privileged plastic surgeon on the show, who happens to be the son of Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen) who chairs the foundation that runs Grey + Sloan Memorial Hospital where Jackson works with Dr Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Over the years, his character has evolved to take on inequities and injustice in the medical system towards Blacks.
Williams also confirmed the news in a statement of his own. “I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda [Rhimes, creator], the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen and Debbie. As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds.”
He continued: “The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”
In this week’s episode, Jackson’s character got the sendoff it deserved after he was reunited with his ex-wife and a former character on the show, Dr April Kepner, played by Sarah Drew who left the show in 2018. It just so happened [spoiler] that she is single again and fans on social media were busy celebrating amidst tears that a ‘Japril’ romantic reunion was imminent.
Drew’s cameo is the latest in a season that has been riddled with the return of former cast members including Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd or McDreamy for ‘Grey’ fans who had a not so amicable parting with producer Rhimes and the team. Aside from Dempsey, close buddy Mark Sloan or McSteamy also made an appearance, along with T.R. Knight who reprised his role as George O’Malley. Chyler Leigh also returned as Lexie Grey in an episode, who played lead star Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) half-sister on the show who died in a plane crash.
Jackson’s final appearance on the show will air on May 20. His departure follows the death of Dr Andrea ‘Andrew’ DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), who was killed off earlier in the season.
Season 17 has seen several production delays on account of the coronavirus, with fans speculating that this could very well be the last one for the longest running medical drama on TV. In the show’s current track, Meredith has successfully overcome the coronavirus.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is currently screening in the UAE on OSN.