Grey’s Anatomy is officially saying goodbye to a fan-favorite, Jesse Williams’ character, Jackson Avery. The show officially said goodbye to the beloved character, and fans are devastated. Jackson Avery was a close friend and confidant of the leading character, Meredith Grey, for a huge portion of his 12 years on the show.
‘I’m the last man standing. It was you and me from our residency class. Everyone else has either abandoned me or died. We were the only two left,” Meredith told Jackson.
He was the last remaining character in Meredith’s original residency class. Thankfully, unlike many other characters who’ve been killed off, Avery got to depart with a happy (if not bittersweet) ending. He left to pursue a new path running his family’s medical foundation with his ex-wife.
It’s definitely not the first time a major actor has left the show. Grey’s Anatomy has survived multiple departures and deaths of fan-favorite characters. Cristina, played by Sandra Oh, also departed the show in 2014. The show continues to persevere despite key actors bowing out.
Still, the loss of Jesse Williams and his work is even difficult for production.
“Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work. We will miss Jesse terribly, and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years,” producer Krista Vernoff told Deadline.
Williams is also incredibly grateful for his time on the show.
“The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always,” he said in a statement. “I am immensely proud of our work, our impact, and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies, and dear friends.”
Fans Lament over the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Departure
Meanwhile, fans on Twitter aren’t okay. Many referenced a particularly painful flashback sequence that showed Jackson throughout the show. With a show that’s run as long as Grey’s Anatomy, character departures are often an extra layer of bittersweet, as fans have had years with them.
Many are calling Jackson’s departure an end of an era. Now that many of the long-term characters are gone, the show is truly different than how it was in its first years. Hopefully, the upcoming season of Grey’s Anatomy will find a way to keep old parts of the show alive even when the cast looks very different.