Shocking ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ News, Jessica Capshaw And Sarah Drew To Exit The Hit Series

'Grey's Anatomy' showrunners announce today that Arizona and April will be leaving Grey-Sloan Memorial

Jessica Capshaw attends the 34th annual PaleyFest: "Grey's Anatomy" event at the Dolby Theatre
Richard Shotwell / AP Images

'Grey's Anatomy' showrunners announce today that Arizona and April will be leaving Grey-Sloan Memorial

It was announced today that Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins) and Sarah Drew (April Kepner) will be leaving Grey’s Anatomy by the end of the current season. Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff released a statement through the Hollywood Reporter to tell Grey’s fans the bad news.

The Grey’s Anatomy Showrunner Shocks Fans By Announcing Two Fan-Favorite Exits

“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. 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.”

Jessica Capshaw with her character of Arizona Robbins has been on Grey’s Anatomy for ten seasons, and Sarah Drew as April Kepner for nine, and both characters have become Grey’s fan favorites. Show creator Shonda Rhimes said that the characters of Arizona and April each spoke to a unique segment of the Grey’s Anatomy audience.

“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.”

According To Grey’s Anatomy Krista Vernoff, The Exit Of Capshaw And Drew Are Not Salary Related

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Vernoff says that the decision to write Arizona and April out of the series was a creative one, and it had nothing to do with salary. Grey’s Anatomy has not officially been renewed for season fifteen, but it sounds like a sure bet considering Ellen Pompeo, the show’s lead, Meredith Grey, has signed a new two-year contract with Grey’s Anatomy, making her the highest paid television actress currently in primetime.

Sarah Drew reached out to Grey’s Anatomy fans to say thank you for all of their love and support of herself and the character of April Kepner.

“Thank you for all of the love. 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. 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.”

Jessica Capshaw also posted a note to fans of Grey’s Anatomy and particularly those in the LGBT community says EW. Capshaw posted the note on her Twitter and Instagram pages.

Grey’s Anatomy Star Jessica Capshaw Sends Her Love To All Fans But Especially The LGBT Community

“For the past 10 years, I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins but also being madly in love with playing her. Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job. She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever. I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me. I am sad to see her go, but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster. With a heart full of love, Jessica.”

Neither Capshaw nor Drew made any comment about the ways their characters will exit Grey’s Anatomy, but Drew hinted that “April’s story isn’t over,” hopefully hinting that her character won’t literally be killed off of Grey’s Anatomy in an explosion or a plane crash.

Grey’s Anatomy airs tonight at 8 P.M. EST.