Why Are Jessica Capshaw & Sarah Drew Leaving 'Grey's Anatomy'? Fans Will Have A Hard Time Saying Goodbye

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In news that's going to hurt fans' hearts, TVLine reported on Thursday that Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew are leaving Grey's Anatomy at the end of Season 14. And aside from dealing with the initial shock and sadness, fans of the long-running ABC series will want to know why Capshaw and Drew are leaving Grey's Anatomy. Although a definitive reason has not been revealed yet, Deadline is reporting that the pair is leaving based on the way the show's "creative direction" is headed, according to their sources.

In a statement, showrunner Krista Vernoff told Deadline:

Although Vernoff's statement doesn't exactly say why they are leaving, it does hint that the story is evolving in a different direction, which means "saying goodbye to characters we love." Meanwhile, both actors have released statements of their own, and the series creator Shonda Rhimes also tweeted out her own thoughts on the bittersweet goodbye. Rhimes wrote,

Making the news a little tougher to stomach, the announcement of these two strong women leaving the show actually fell on International Women's Day.

Capshaw, who played Dr. Arizona Robbins for 10 whole seasons, said her goodbyes in a tweet that is beyond poignant. She wrote,

Highlighting the representation the role brought to TV, Capshaw's tweet continued, "She was one of first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever." Capshaw added,

Of course, Drew, who played Dr. April Kepner for nine seasons, voiced her feelings as well. In a message on Twitter, she expressed her love for fans and her Grey's family. She wrote,

Drew continued by looking on the bright side: "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 Greys family all 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." She ended by signing the message with "Much love."

Considering that Drew's message makes it very clear she's still processing the news herself, it's hard not to admire all of her eloquence and gratitude in that statement. Grey's Anatomy clearly means as much to her as it does to the tons of fans following it on a weekly basis.

Whatever the true reason behind their departure, one thing is for sure: It won't be easy to say goodbye, but at least they'll always be part of the Grey's family.