Jesse Williams is hanging up his scrubs and saying goodbye to Grey’s Anatomy after a 12-year run.
Williams joined the long-running ABC medical drama in 2009, during the show’s sixth season as Dr. Jackson Avery. His final episode will air on May 20, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The actor confirmed his exit in a statement Thursday evening and thanked ABC; his fellow cast members; series creator Shonda Rhimes; lead actress Ellen Pompeo; showrunner Krista Vernoff; and director Debbie Allen.
“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow cast mates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen and Debbie,” he said. “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. 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.”
News of Williams’ departure was revealed at the end of tonight’s episode, which saw his ex-love April (Sarah Drew) return, giving the Jackson character closure.
The exact reason for Williams’ exit is unclear, although he is the latest star to leave the series. The season 17 finale of Grey’s Anatomy airs on June 3.