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Why are Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew leaving Grey’s Anatomy?

Jessica Capshaw, Sarah Drew
Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew, who play the popular characters Dr. Arizona Robbins and Dr. April Kepner, are leaving Grey’s Anatomy. Pic credit: ABC

Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw are leaving Grey’s Anatomy following the show’s announcement on March 8 that they would not be returning after the 14th season.

Capshaw has played Dr. Arizona Robbins for 10 seasons while Drew, who was cast as Dr. April Kepner, has been on for nine seasons.

If one reads between the lines and looks at both actresses’ Twitter feeds and remarks, their sudden departure seems to have been as much of a shock to them as it was to loyal fans.

The decision definitely looks to be that of the show’s producers and not that of the cast.

The official statement from Grey’s Anatomy producers:

Grey’s showrunner Shonda Rhimes posted this on her Twitter:

Why is Jessica Capshaw leaving Grey’s Anatomy?

There had been speculation that fellow cast-member Ellen Pompeo’s salary raise to $20million may have shut out Capshaw and Drew, however showrunner Krista Vernoff strongly denied the rumors:


Capshaw has inhabited the role of Arizona since 2009. Her trailblazing LGBTQ character is beloved. Currently, her IMDb page lists no new upcoming projects. This is what she posted on Twitter about her departure:

Why is Sarah Drew leaving Grey’s Anatomy?

This is what the star said about leaving the show:

In happy news for Drew’s fans, she has already been signed on to star in CBS’ rebooted “Cagney & Lacey” pilot, according to Deadline. Drew will star as Cagney, while Michelle Hurd has been cast as her partner Lacey.

Vernoff congratulated Drew, but some fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations over claims she was the one who actually fired her.

Who is starring on Grey’s Anatomy tonight?

Guest stars tonight include Rachel Ticotin as Marie Cerone and Greg Germann as Tom Koracick.

What time is Grey’s Anatomy on?

Grey’s Anatomy Season 14, Episode 15, “Old Scars, Future Hearts” airs tonight at 8/7c on ABC.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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