Jesse Williams Is Leaving Grey's Anatomy After 12 Seasons

Jesse Williams' character, Dr. Jackson Avery, is saying goodbye to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital after reuniting with Sarah Drew's April Kepner on the hit ABC show.

By Cydney Contreras May 07, 2021 2:29 AMTags
Watch: "Grey's Anatomy": Sarah Drew Teases Dr. April Kepner's Return

Grey's Anatomy is saying goodbye to another beloved character.

In the latest episode titled "Look Up Child," it's revealed Jesse Williams is moving on from his role as Dr. Jackson Avery. 

Grey's Anatomy executive producer and showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a statement to E! News, "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," Krista continued. "We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery—played to perfection for so many years."

Jesse is the latest actor to leave Grey's Anatomy. This season saw Giacomo Giannotti's character Andrew DeLuca, and Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) boyfriend, die after being stabbed by an attempted kidnapper on the crossover episode of Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy.

Last January also marked the departure of Justin Chambers' Dr. Alex Karev. At the time, Justin said that he was leaving the show after 16 seasons in order to "diversify my acting roles and career choices."

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In a statement to E! News, Jesse wrote, "I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda [Rhimes], the network, studio, fellow cast mates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen and Debbie [Allen]. 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."

Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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."

Prior to the Thursday, May 6 episode, he tweeted, "Don't think so. ‘bout to make a sandwich," in response to Camilla Luddington's tweet that "something big's happening tonight."

Meanwhile, Ellen tweeted that she was grateful Sarah Drew returned as April Kepner, so that Dr. Avery could get the farewell he deserved. "I'll be honest... it's emotional but super grateful to @sarahdrew for coming back so this episode can be everything for the fans! She is as dedicated to you all as you are to her!"

Jesse will make his final appearance as Dr. Avery on the episode titled "Tradition" on Thursday, May 20.

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