The halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital will look a little different this fall.
Much to the shock and chagrin of long-time Grey's Anatomy's viewers.
ABC confirmed on Thursday afternoon, just hours prior to the latest Grey's Anatomy Season 14 episode, that two beloved series regulars will NOT return for Season 15:
Both Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw have effectively been fired.
The former has portrayed Dr. April Kepner for nine years on the Shonda Rhimes-produced smash hit, while the latter has played Dr. Arizona Robbins for the past decade.
The network has not revealed the way in which either physician will be written out, but has stated that both stars are being let go for creative reasons.
Scroll down for a look at what all involved with this decision have said via various statements:
Executive Producer Krista Vernoff:
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.
As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go, and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love.
It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.
It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters. 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 performances and for inspiring women around the globe.
They will always be a part of our Shondaland family
Thank you for all of the love. I know you’re sad. I’m sad too. 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. And the really good news (for me, at least) is that I’m here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey’s family all this week and next, so I get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade.
For that, I am grateful.
For the past ten years I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins but also being madly in love with playing her.
Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job.
She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a seres regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever.
I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me.
I am sad to see her go but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda [Rhimes], thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster.
Two months ago, leading lady Ellen Pompeo signed a new two-year deal with Grey's Anatomy worth over $20 million.
It covers the next two seasons of the series, although ABC has not renewed the drama past Season 14 just yet.
Drew and Capshaw, meanwhile, joins a long list of regulars who have left over the past few years alone.
Sandra Oh left during season 10... Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy was killed off in season 11... Sara Ramirez, whose Callie Torres was previously married to Robbins, departed in season 12... and Jerrika Hinton exited ahead of season 14.
Will you miss Drew and Capshaw?
Will you keep watching in their absence?