Rhimes revealed as much at the Vulture Festival in New York City on Sunday, sharing that she wasn’t informed of Ramirez’s decision until “maybe three days before” the actress’ foreboding tweet on April 27.
Had Rhimes known ahead of time that Ramirez would be opting out of the show to take “some welcome time off,” things would have wrapped up differently for the character. In last Thursday’s season 12 finale, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) offered her ex, Callie (Ramirez), a new custody arrangement for their young daughter, as well as plane tickets for Callie to go to New York City to be with her girlfriend.
“It was different because it wasn’t a big, planned thing,” Rhimes said. “I had a different plan going and when Sara came and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ I was lucky that we had shot the end of the season with her going to New York.”
“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC but for now, I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez wrote. “Shonda's been so incredible to work for, & we will definitely continue our conversations!”
“I send my love to Ellen [Pompeo], the rest of the cast and crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!” she concluded.
Rhimes also issued her own statement on Ramirez’s decision, praising the actress for making an impact on Grey’s from the moment she was introduced in season two.
“Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey,” the Grey’s creator wrote. “Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off.”
“I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland,” Rhimes continued.