Shonda Rhimes’ Statement About April & Arizona Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Will Make You Even Sadder

Major news over at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital: On Thursday, March 8, Deadline reported that Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew will leave Grey’s Anatomy after Season 14. After this announcement broke, series creator Shonda Rhimes released a statement regarding these Grey's changes on Instagram. She wrote,

What a bittersweet farewell to two wonderful, adored, and important characters who've been part of Greys for many moons— about a decade's worth of moons, in fact. Capshaw has played Dr. Arizona Robbins for 10 seasons, and Drew has played Dr. April Kepner for nine. This goes without saying but: Greys really won't be the same without them. And hopefully, the "They will always be a part of our Shondaland family" line means there will be some Arizona and April cameos on the horizon.

So, why are Capshaw and Drew leaving? What was it that prompted this decision? Deadline's sources claim that they’ve been cut due to the creative direction of the show, and judging from what Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff said about the overhaul, this seems to be the case. In a statement to Variety, Vernoff said,

It appears as though Grey's fans aren't the only ones who didn't see this ensemble shakeup coming. While Drew knew that she'd been cut from the series before the rest of the world did, she tweeted that she only found out earlier this week. Shortly after the news hit the internet, Drew posted,

And after Drew shared her message, Capshaw tweeted her own moving response to the news. She wrote,

There have been a few significant shifts to the show's lineup as of late: Season 14 also bid farewell to Martin Henderson, who played Nathan Riggs for two seasons, last year.

Before you start bracing yourself for any additional heartbreaking changes, here's something to keep in mind: According to Deadline’s sources, Capshaw and Drew will be the only main characters leaving the series this year.

Be sure to cherish the rest of Season 14, Grey's fans. It's the end of the Aprizona Era.