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Why did Fiona leave Shameless? Here’s why Emmy Rossum won’t be back for Season 10

Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher on Shameless
Emmy Rossum will not be returning to Shameless for Season 10. Pic credit: Showtime

The Season 9 finale of Shameless aired on Sunday night and viewers said goodbye to Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher. While many knew about Fiona’s exit from the show months in advance, the way that she left was certainly a surprise. Now, Showtime viewers are wondering why Rossum decided to exit the network’s longest-running series and what she plans to do next.

As well saw on the Shameless Season 9 finale, Fiona went out on her own terms, opting to take a payout from her former business partner and head for warmer weather. She was considering leaving the Gallagher clan behind in Chicago when Frank made it easy on her, thanking her for helping him all those years.

Well, those who have stuck around for all nine seasons of the show know that Fiona didn’t just help Frank. As she put it, she “did it all.”

Fiona went for one last visit to see Ian in prison, where she told him that she wanted to head toward the equator because she was tired of the cold Chicago winters. She was clearly tired of way more than that and who could blame her. So with that, the character of Fiona is gone and Shameless will move forward into Season 10 without her.

Why did Emmy Rossum choose to leave Shameless?

That said, Fiona’s exit from the show was her decision and one that many have been wondering about. Why would the actress behind Fiona, Emmy Rossum, walk away from such a sweet gig?

In the January/February issue of Shape magazine, Rossum opened up about her decision to leave Shameless.

“The way I look at it is that the end of one thing is the beginning of something else,” Rossum shared. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to spend time writing, directing, and seeing what other characters I want to play. It’s both scary and wonderful.”

Emmy announced her departure from Showtime back in October on social media:

It’s a hard thing to put into words, feelings. But I’m going to try.This business is always an adventure, full of…

Posted by Emmy Rossum on Thursday, August 30, 2018

While her official reason for leaving is the quest for a new adventure, many Shameless fans haven’t forgotten Emmy Rossum’s quest for better pay back in 2016. When negotiating her Shameless contract, Rossum demanded she be paid equal to William H. Macy.

While he is clearly a bigger name, she is clearly the star of Shameless and was the centerpiece of the Gallagher family in times when Macy wasn’t even featured in some episodes. While Rossum was battling for pay equality, she took her Shameless pay dispute one step farther, demanding more money than William H. Macy in order to make up for being paid less during the previous seven seasons.

The details of Emmy Rossum’s contract were not disclosed so we don’t know if she was actually offered more or not but the pay standoff didn’t last long before she was signed again for Seasons 8 and 9. Now, with Season 10, she has decided to leave the show and some Shameless viewers can’t help but wonder if that had anything to do with it.

Shameless Season 10 is expected to return in the fall of 2019 on Showtime. 

Shaunee Flowers is an editor and a writer for Monsters & Critics. She primarily writes about reality TV and has watched it since the very... read more
Shaunee Flowers

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