Jesse Williams Is Leaving 'Grey's Anatomy' And Fans Are Not OK

by Christina Marfice
Mike Rosenthal/ABC

After 12 years on Grey’s Anatomy, Jesse Williams is unexpectedly making his exit ahead of the season finale

As anyone who watches Grey’s Anatomy knows, that show has more twists than a cinnamon roll. Those of us who tune in to the world of Grey Sloan Memorial every Thursday night regularly curse Shonda Rhimes for the way she makes us fall in love with characters and then snatches them away from us – usually with a traumatic death, to boot. And now, news has just broken that one of the longest running characters on the show right now will be making a sudden exit ahead of this season’s final episode: Dr. Jackson Avery, AKA Jesse Williams, is leaving after an incredible 12 years on the show, and his final episode airs next week.

If you watched last night’s episode (spoilers ahead, if you didn’t), you know this news isn’t a total surprise. Jackson just reunited with his ex April, who is obviously his one and only true love, and revealed that he plans to move to Boston with her and take over the Catherine Fox Foundation for his mother. Jackson and April are endgame, so we can find a way to be OK with this. At least Shonda didn’t kill him off in some horrible way, right?

But that’s a pretty small consolation for fans, who are, overall, not OK that Williams is leaving the show after being a staple on our screens for so long.

However, amid all the heartbreak, there’s genuine excitement that Japril, one of the most beloved couples in the show’s history, turned out to be actual endgame. If we have to lose Williams, this is the way for it to happen, TBH.

To commemorate his time on the show, Williams released a statement, and if you’re a Jackson fan, you just might want to grab a tissue before you read this.

“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 wrote. “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.”

I think it’s an understatement to say that we’ll miss Williams on Grey’s, but the fact that Jackson and April are happy together at last will live rent free in our heads forever.