Saying goodbye to "Jackson"...

Jesse Williams Opens Up About His 'Grey's Anatomy' Exit

Jesse Williams Opens Up About His Grey's Anatomy Exit

As it turns out, Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy was intended to set up Jesse Williams' departure from the show! Williams has played surgeon "Jackson Avery" for years, but it has now been confirmed that this season of the hit medical drama will be his last. See his statement here!

Jesse Williams' time on Grey's Anatomy is officially drawing to a close. In this week's episode, his character "Jackson" made the bold decision to take over his father's foundation, leaving Seattle for Boston, and it has been confirmed that this move means Williams will be leaving the show.

Williams reflects on his Grey's Anatomy experience

Williams has been part of the Grey's Anatomy cast since joining the show in season 6,  becoming a regular the following season. And since "Jackson" is a fan favourite, the news of his departure comes as a surprise! As Deadline confirms, Williams' last appearance as the surgeon will be in the episode titled "Tradition," which airs on May 20. Ahead of his exit from Grey's Anatomy, the actor made a statement about his time on the show.

"I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow cast mates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen [Pompeo] and Debbie [Allen]," Williams told Entertainment Tonight. "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."

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Williams' journey called "a true gift" by Grey's showrunner

Williams then went on to express that he is "immensely proud" of what he's accomplished on Grey's Anatomy over the course of "nearly 300 hours of leading global television." He also said he will take the "tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends" that the show has given him along with him into the future. The showrunner of Grey's AnatomyKrista Vernoff, also made a statement about Williams' departure.

"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," Vernoff said. She shared that the actor offers "so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence" in everything he does. She also said that both Williams and his character will be missed, mentioning that "Jackson" was "played to perfection."