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How Shonda Rhimes Felt About Sara Ramirez Leaving Grey's Anatomy

We’re right in the middle of finale season right now, which means we have been getting a slew of cliffhangers and more as shows end their runs until next fall or spring. One of the shows that recently aired its finale was Grey’s Anatomy. Season 12’s final episode came with some major moments, including the announcement that character Dr. Callie Torres worked out a way to move to New York City with her girlfriend Penny Blake. If you are wondering how Shonda Rhimes felt about that big ending, we can now tell you. The showrunner recently revealed that while the New York move had been in the cards, it certainly wasn’t her original plan to have Callie Torres exit the show. Here’s what she had to say:

[It] was interesting. It was different because it wasn’t a big, planned thing. I had a different plan going and when Sara came and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ I was sort of lucky that we had shot the end of the season with her going to New York.

If you have been keeping tabs on actress Sara Ramirez, who until recently played Dr. Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy, the actress' departure shouldn’t have come as a major surprise. Just a few weeks before the finale aired, Ramirez took to social media to discuss how her tenure on the show was “a wrap.” I suppose she could have simply meant the season, but the post was written in a way that seemed to indicate her work on the show was ending. A few weeks and a few short episodes later, Dr. Callie Torres was written off in a way that was way less painful than a lot of the other actors and actresses on the show—who frequently are killed off when they are about to end their runs on the series. However, in the time prior to Ramirez’s social media comments, Shonda Rhimes does seem to have actually been surprised by the actress' decision to leave the show. In fact, her comments to TV Line indicate that Grey’s Anatomy was just lucky the show had already written the finale in a way that worked for an official exit.

Shonda Rhimes also mentioned that she only learned Sara Ramirez had decided to leave the show three days before the initial social media comments broke. Luckily, it might end up going well for all involved. Sara Ramirez opted not to renew her contract after deciding she needed to take some time to herself. Since Grey’s Anatomy is showing no signs of slowing down in its 12th season, there’s always the possibility that the actress could come back on board the medical drama in some capacity. Because the show is older, now, the actors are often only on one-year contracts as ABC weighs whether or not to continue with the show each year, although the ratings have proven people still have an appetite for more Grey’s.

Following her big exit, Sara Ramirez made a statement thanking the show for giving her a job for the last decade. She’s on to new opportunities while Grey’s Anatomy is on to new episodes. You can catch the ABC drama when it returns in the fall. For now, you can check out which shows have been cancelled and which have been renewed, here.

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.