Furious Grey’s Anatomy fans threaten to boycott show as Alex Karev’s departure is finally explained

Departure of actor Justin Chambers leaves only one original central cast member on long-running drama

Ellie Harrison
Friday 06 March 2020 12:03
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Grey’s Anatomy ended the mystery surrounding the departure of a main character on Thursday (5 March), and fans are not impressed.

In the episode “Leave a Light On”, Dr Alex Karev, played by Justin Chambers, sent four handwritten letters explaining that he was leaving his wife Jo (Camilla Luddington) for his old flame, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), who left the show in season six.

He also revealed that he and Izzie have twins together, conceived with frozen embryos. Jo and viewers had previously been led to believe that when Alex went away he was visiting his ageing mother in Iowa.

Chambers’ departure leaves Ellen Pompeo’s protagonist Meredith Grey as the last of the five central characters remaining on the show, which launched in 2005.

Chambers unexpectedly announced his departure from the series in January, saying in a statement that he “hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices”.

Fans have responded with fury on social media, threatening to boycott the show.

“It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev,” showrunner and executive producer Krista Vernoff said in a new statement. “That is as true for me and for all of the writers at Grey’s Anatomy as it is for the fans. We have loved writing Alex. And we have loved watching Justin Chambers’ nuanced portrayal of him.

“For 16 seasons, 16 years, we have grown up alongside Alex Karev. We have been frustrated by his limitations and we have been inspired by his growth and we have come to love him deeply and to think of him as one of our very best friends. We will miss him terribly. And we will always be grateful for his impact, on our show, on our hearts, on our fans, on the world.”

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