The executive producers of CW’s Arrow, Greg Berlanti and Beth Schwartz, are addressing Emily Bett Rickards’ sudden departure from the superhero drama ahead of its final season, according to a report from TVLine.
Rickards joined the cast of Arrow in 2012 as reoccurring character Felicity Smoak, an IT technician at Queen Consolidated; she was later bumped up to a main character and has remained on the show for seven seasons. Rickards’ exit comes ahead of a previously announced 10-episode Season 8, which will serve as the show’s final season. Rickards has also appeared on other superhero shows, including Supergirl and The Flash, during crossover events and special episodes.
On Saturday, March 30, Rickards took to Instagram to make the announcement. The actress posted a collage of photos taken during her time on the show along with a heartfelt and poetic caption.
“Felicity and I are a very tight two, but after one through seven we will be saying goodbye to you,” she wrote. “I thank you all for the time we’ve shared.”
After the announcement, series star Stephen Amell took to Twitter to post a sweet throwback photo of Rickards’ first scene on the show. He also posted a short note to his Instagram saying he simply isn’t ready to deal with the reality of this and would like to wait until Monday. Amell also expressed his love for his costar and on-screen wife via Instagram.
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) March 30, 2019
Later, Berlanti and Schwartz released a joint statement to extend their love and support regarding the decision made.
“We’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily since Season 1 and in those past seven years she has brought one of TV’s most beloved characters to life,” the statement said. “And although we’re heartbroken to see both Emily and Felicity leave the show, we’re completely supportive of Emily and her future endeavors. She will always have a family at Arrow.”
Fellow executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, also put out a statement. Guggenheim mimicked Rickards’ poetic flow and posted an image of the actress with his words.
Two can play at this game… pic.twitter.com/DIBLZsZUX8
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) March 31, 2019
Rickards did not offer a reason behind her decision to leave the show and she has yet to make any announcements regarding upcoming projects.
As for Arrow, the final season will likely wrap shortly after this fall’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover with The Flash and Supergirl. According to TVLine, the CW President, Mark Pedowitz, previously hinted that the special event will take “some big swings.”