Jesse Williams is leaving 'Grey's Anatomy' after 12 seasons

Another fan-favorite character is leaving “Grey’s Anatomy.” Jesse Williams, who has starred as Dr. Jackson Avery since season 6, is officially hanging up his scrubs later this month.

Williams’ last appearance as Jackson will be in the next episode, which airs May 20.

A teaser for the episode, titled “Tradition,” showed Jackson saying goodbye to his colleagues at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to pursue his new calling of running the Harper Avery Foundation and following in the footsteps of his mother, Catherine Fox (Debbie Allen).

Having been a practicing doctor for years, Jackson didn’t think he was making enough of an impact in “creating real racial equity in medicine” as well as improving women’s health and care for the transgender community from the inside and expressed a desire to take on the system from the outside.

“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist,” showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a statement. “Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift.”

PHOTO: Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery in a scene from "Grey's Anatomy."

“Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work,” Vernoff continued. “We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years.”

Williams said in a statement he’ll “forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities” he experienced through the show and thanked everyone from “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes to Vernoff and his fellow castmates — especially Allen and series lead Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey).

“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 added.

“The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always,” Williams concluded. “I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”

PHOTO: Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery in "Grey's Anatomy."

Vernoff and the “Grey’s Anatomy” writers had a long conversation about how they wanted to end Jackson’s story to make sure it was satisfying for fans and decided to bring back Sarah Drew as Dr. April Kepner to help give fans the farewell that Jackson deserved.

In this week’s episode, titled “Look Up Child,” Jackson paid visits to his mother, Catherine; his father, Robert (Eric Roberts); and his ex, April, who is the mother to his daughter, Harriet, to tell them of his major life decision.

To the delight of “Japril” fans — those who want to see Jackson and April together — April and Harriet will join Jackson in his cross-country move from Seattle to Boston. To give fans more hope for a “Japril” reunion, April revealed that she is no longer married to her husband, Matthew (Justin Bruening).

Williams is the latest “Grey’s Anatomy” star to exit the series. Earlier this season, Giacomo Gianniotti departed the medical drama when his character, Andrew DeLuca, was killed off.

There has been no official word if season 17 will be the end of “Grey’s Anatomy” or if it will return for another season.

Source: Read Full Article