Longtime Grey’s Anatomy Star Jesse Williams who plays the role of Jackson Avery will be leaving the series after 12 season.

Jesse Williams

Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams is departing the ABC medical drama series after 12 seasons. He plays the role of Jackson Avery and his pending departure was revealed in the latest episode “Look Up Child.” Williams’s final episode will air on May 20th.

“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift,”

 Grey’s Anatomy executive producer/showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a statement to Deadline.

“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.”

Vernoff and the Grey’s writers had long conversations about how to end Jackson’s story to make sure it was satisfying for fans. In the end, the idea everyone got behind is to bring back Sarah Drew as April Kepner for a proper sendoff, giving one of the show’s most popular couple closure.

Williams said in a statement:

“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen and Debbie,”

“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.”

Williams is the second Grey’s Anatomy series regular cast member to bid farewell this season, joining Giacomo Gianniotti whose character Andrew DeLuca died in a previous episode this season.

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