After 12 seasons on the longrunning medical drama, Jesse Williams, who plays the beloved Dr. Jackson Avery, is exiting "Grey's Anatomy."
Jackson's exit was revealed during season 17, episode 14, "Look Up Child," with Williams' final episode airing Thursday, May 20. After struggling with his self-identity and purpose amid COVID-19, Jackson ultimately decided to move to Boston and take over his family's foundation in order to create "real racial equity in medicine."
Williams previously spoke to On The Red Carpet about Jackson's journey on season 17 and revealed his favorite memory after joining the show in its sixth season. The actor referenced the two-part finale episode from season 6, when a disgruntled husband took the hospital hostage in a shooting.
"My character among others has to think fast and figure out a way to mitigate the damage he's doing," Williams said. "That was really thrilling and I'd only been on the show that year. I didn't know my future on the show and was new to acting entirely."
"Doing the Japril movies was also wonderful," Williams added, referring to the episodes revolving around Jackson and April's (Sarah Drew) relationship (the first one being season 12, episode 11 "Unbreak My Heart.")
After making the hashtag "#JaprilEndgame" go viral, fans got their wish of seeing the couple end up together. After agreeing to follow Jackson to Boston with their daughter, Harriet, April revealed that she and her husband, Matthew (Justin Bruening), had split.
"I'm blown away by the amount of love that's been catapulted my way," Drew told On The Red Carpet. "It's such a gift to know that a character and a relationship that we've developed over the course of nine years means so much to so many people."
When fans asked if a potential spinoff was on the horizon, Williams responded during an Instagram Live: "Jackson's journey is really interesting, what April's already been doing [is too]... All that's really rich and there would be a lot to do and Boston would be an interesting place to do it."
"We'll set up a GoFundMe, you guys send us some money and we'll go act it out ourselves," Williams joked.
"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT | 8 p.m. CT on ABC.