At the end of Grey's Anatomy's 14th season we are going to see the departure of two prominent female characters April (played by Sarah Drew) and Arizona (played by Jessica Capshaw.) Both female doctors are going to be leaving at the end of the season. How the characters are leaving the show are unclear, but the reason why they are being written off have fans pulling theories from every which way.
One reason many fans think these characters are being written off is because of the amount of money their lead, Ellen Pompeo, is making. Ellen is on the cover of the Hollywood Reporter for being television's highest paying actress at 20 million dollars. As Meredith Grey, the show literally revolves around her. Her hospital, her friends, and her journey and yet she was still making less than her male counterpart (Patrick Dempsey) when she first started the series 14 years ago. Even with the positive outpour of support for her making as much as she is and being a part of the equal pay conversation in Hollywood, fans are still speculating that there isn't enough money to pay her AND her two female co-stars Sarah and Jessica, and therefore Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the series, has to write them off the show. Ellen went on The Ellen Show March 22nd where she is asked if these departures are because of her.
"It's absolutely not true," says Ellen on the rumors, "I mean I'm not involved in these kinds of decisions, however there are a few problems you encounter when doing a show for 14 seasons." The actress continues saying, "One of them is the writes having a hard time creatively.. you know.. thinking up new stories for all these characters.... we have 16 regular cast members and it's always sad when we lose people." She concludes this thought saying, "It's important for us to not pit women against each other and to really dispel the notion that women are always victims."
We previously reported that according to E!, the decision to take these women off the show is based on a "creative direction" for season 15.
"The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey's Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew," Krista Vernoff, co-showrunner and executive producer on Grey's Anatomy, said in a statement. "As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses."
In the past we've seen the writers of this show take Ellen's character, Meredith, through the loss of her mother, half sister, husband, husband's best friend and even her best friend moved away to practice medicine. It will be interesting to see the direction the show takes for season 15. Hopefully we will be introduced to even more prominent lead women characters!