Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams is departing from the hit show after 12 seasons. He will sign off during the episode titled 'Tradition' which will be aired on 20 May. In a statement to Deadline, executive producer Krista Vernoff confirmed, “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," she added.
Williams joined Grey’s Anatomy as recurring character in Season 6 and was then promoted to a series regular. His character Dr. Jackson Avery won him an NAACP Image Award. With regards to the way his character's exit would be handled, the creators decided to give his character much-needed 'closure'. To that goal, Sarah Drew returned as his ex April after her exit from the show in the season 14 finale.
Speaking about his role on the show, he said, "I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda (Rhimes), the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista (Vernoff), Ellen (Pompeo)and Debbie (Allen)." Along with playing a doctor on the show, he also directed episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Rebel. His production Two Distant Strangers won the Oscar for live-action short film.
Williams is the second Grey’s Anatomy series regular cast member to depart this season. Giacomo Gianniotti's character Andrew DeLuca died on the show in early March. Williams had signed a two-year deal with the ABC show in 2019. He's going to make his Broadway debut with Take Me Out which might open in 2022 after being delayed due to the pandemic. He is also going to star in the Amazon film titled Marked Man.
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