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'Grey's Anatomy' losing stars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew

UPI News Service, 03/08/2018 

"Grey's Anatomy" is losing longtime stars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew.

Capshaw, 41, and Drew, 37, who play Arizona Robbins and April Kepner on the ABC series, will depart the medical drama after Season 14, according to Deadline.

"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," showrunner Krista Vernoff said.

"As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love," she added. "It has been a joy and privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses."

Capshaw and Drew debuted as Arizona and April in Seasons 5 and 6, respectively, before being made series regulars.

Series creator Shonda Rhimes said the characters were significant for representing the LGBTQ and Christian communities.

"It's always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters," the producer said. "Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic -- both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV."

"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," she added.

Drew confirmed her exit in a post on her Twitter account Thursday.

"Thank you for all of the love. I know you're sad. I'm sad too," the actress wrote.

"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."

"For now, I'd like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn't over yet," she said.

"Grey's Anatomy" is in the midst of its 14th season. The series co-stars Ellen Pompeo, who signed a $20 million per year deal with ABC Studios in late 2017.

Grey's Anatomy/ABC

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