'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Have Strong Feelings About Jackson and April Reuniting in Season 17
Grey's Anatomy costars Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams reunited recently and, not surprisingly, it caused a major uproar on the internet.
Last Tuesday, Sarah shared a photo of the two wearing masks together while presumably on the set of Grey's. As longtime Grey's viewers know, the two starred as friends-turned-spouses Dr. Jackson Avery and Dr. April Kepner in the popular medical drama for years. Though Jesse never left the show, Sarah ended up saying goodbye to her character in the season 14 finale.
Now, however, we know that Sarah is returning for season 17 of the hit medical drama to reprise her role — and needless to say, fans are extremely stoked about the "Japril" reunion about to happen.
"Can’t tell you how HAPPY I am right now!," one fan wrote. "THE BEST DUO EVER," another declared. "I missed you two together so much. Your chemistry is Magic," a different fan wrote.
So why did Sarah Drew ever leave Grey's Anatomy?
From what it sounds like, Sarah's exit wasn't really up to her. Both Sarah and Jessica Capshaw, who played Dr. Arizona Robbins for 10 seasons, left after the 14th season. According to what showrunner Krista Vernoff told Deadline in March of 2018, their exits were based solely on the show's "creative direction."
"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 said at the time. "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."
Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes also commented on the character departures at the time: "It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters. Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV. I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family.”
After the news broke, there was speculation that the reason for Sarah and Jessica leaving had to do with ABC's new deal with Ellen Pompeo, who stars as Meredith Grey. According to Deadline, Ellen signed a two-year deal months earlier that bumped up her pay to as much as $20 million a year. But as Krista made very clear, Ellen's new deal had nothing to do with Jessica and Sarah's exits.
On Twitter, Krista slammed the article, accusing the outlet of suggesting that Ellen's salary renegotiation may have led to Sarah and Jessica's departures.
Regarding #GreysAnatomy and @EllenPompeo pic.twitter.com/d2ynURphsR
— Krista Vernoff (@KristaVernoff) March 8, 2018
"It smacks of an old, broken, patriarchal notion that women must be pitted against each other and that one woman's success will be costly to others," Krista said at the time, while also pointing out that Ellen has "advocated passionately" for her cast members over the years.
"The only thing a constant on Grey's Anatomy as Ellen Pompeo is our penchant for reinvention. It is part of our success and what keeps the show exciting," the statement continued.
Meanwhile, it sounds like Sarah was a bit caught off guard by the news, which she alluded to in her statement on Twitter shortly after the article was published:
Thank you for all of the love. I know you're sad. I'm sad too. I haven't really had the time to process this information. I've been with it for less than 48 hours, so I'm not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later :) For now, I'd like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn't over yet. 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 Grey's family all this 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 so grateful. Much love, Sarah
Of course, as we all know now, Sarah really wasn't kidding when she said April's story wasn't over. As evidenced by the reactions to her latest picture with Jesse, the Grey's family is more than ecstatic to welcome her back for season 17 (and hopefully beyond!).
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