“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.”
Williams 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, Chambers said that he was leaving the show after 16 seasons in order to “diversify my acting roles and career choices.”
In a statement to E! News, Williams 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.”
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, Pompeo 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!”
Williams will make his final appearance as Dr. Avery on the episode titled “Tradition” on Thursday, May 20.