Warning, this article contains spoilers about Grey’s Anatomy season 17!
An iconic Grey Sloan Memorial doctor is about to leave the hospital. In the credits of Grey’s Anatomy for 12 years, Jesse Williams, the actor playing Jackson Avery, has announced his exit at the end of season 17.
In a statement, Jesse Williams says: “I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda [Rhimes], the network, studio, fellow cast mates, our incredible crew, Krista [Vernoff], Ellen [Pompeo] and Debbie [Allen]. 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.”
Krista Vernoff, showrunner of the series, praised the work of the actor throughout his adventure on Grey’s Anatomy: “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. 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.”
Jackson Avery’s exit was initiated in the episode “Look Up Child” that aired this Thursday, May 6, 2021. In this episode, Jackson announces to his father Robert (Eric Roberts) and April (Sarah Drew) his intention to take over the family foundation to help fight against inequalities in medicine. To carry out this new mission, he must leave Seattle, and therefore Grey Sloan Memorial, to move to Boston. The episode is also the occasion to learn that Matthew and April are no longer together leaving the hope to see one of the most appreciated couple of Grey’s Anatomy together.
According to the information of the Hollywood Reporter, the last appearance of Jesse Williams/Jackson Avery in Grey’s Anatomy will take place during the episode Tradition which will be broadcasted on May 20th.