Longtime stars Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw will be leaving the popular ABC medical drama at the end of the current 14th season, a rep for ABC confirms to ET.
Drew, who plays Dr. April Kepner, has been with the show since season six, while Capshaw has played Dr. Arizona Robbins since season five. It is unclear how the two characters will be written out of the show.
"The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew. As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love," Krista Vernoff, co-showrunner and executive producer, said in a statement to ET. "It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses."
"It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters. Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic -- both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV," Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer, said in a statement to ET. "I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family."
Following the shocking news of Drew and Capshaw's departures, Drew took to social media with a heartfelt message to Grey's fans, revealing that she wasn't expecting to be let go from the show. According to Drew, she found out she would not be returning for season 15 less than two days ago.
"I know you're sad. I'm sad too. I haven't really had the time to process this information. I've been with it for less than 48 hours, so I'm not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later," Drew wrote. "For now, I'd like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn't over yet."
"And the really good news (for me, at least) is that I'm here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey's family all this week and next, so I get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade," her message continued. "For that, I am so grateful."
Capshaw also took to Twitter to reflect on her time on Grey's, saying it's been a "rare privilege" to play Arizona.
"For the past 10 years, I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins, but also being madly in love with playing her," the actress wrote. "Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job. She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever, forever. I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me."
"I am sad to see her go, but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations," Capshaw added. "Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster."