tv shows

Jesse Williams leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after 12 seasons

Jesse Williams leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after 12 seasons

Photo from TV promo

The hit medical drama series is saying goodbye to the well-loved Dr. Jackson Avery

Actor Jesse Williams, 39, is leaving hit medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy after more than a decade of portraying Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital’s plastic surgeon Jackson Avery, who appeared for the first time in season 6.

In a statement to E! News, the show’s executive producer Krista Vernoff said that “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,” Vernoff said.

Williams, 39, also expressed his gratitude “for the boundless opportunities provided by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow cast mates, and [our] incredible crew,” referring to show creator Shonda Rhimes, showrunner Vernoff, and co-stars Ellen Pompeo and Debbie Allen, who play Meredith Grey and Catherine Avery on the show, respectively.

“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,” the actor said.

The news of Williams’ exit from the show came on the same day as the return of his character’s love interest Dr. April Kepner, played by Sarah Drew.

Williams will appear in his final episode Tradition, which will premiere on May 20, according to ABC. Emmy-winning Grey’s Anatomy is currently on its 17th season. – with reports from Jewel Camacho/ 

Jewel Camacho is a Rappler intern.