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Why Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw Are Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Exclusive)

Dr. Robbins and Dr. Kepner have officially been discharged. Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw are leaving Grey’s Anatomy after season 14, Deadline reported on Thursday, March 8. Drew has been on the show for nine seasons, while Capshaw has been on for 10. The actresses were reportedly let go due to creative changes.

“Sarah and Jessica’s story lines had just run their course, and the decision was made to not renew their contracts,” an insider tells Us Weekly exclusively.

Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw on Grey’s Anatomy Eric McCandless/ABC

The source added that the show has always been about Meredith Grey, but the actresses being let go has nothing to do with Ellen Pompeo’s recent renegotiations that resulted in her near-$20 million salary.

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“Ellen Pompeo was given a pay raise to recognize her incredible contributions to the success of the show. She more than earned the producing role, and frankly, it was long overdue,” the source continued. “There was this incredible mad dash to try and find Ellen a male costar after Patrick Dempsey left. What the network quickly learned, was that Ellen didn’t need a another McDreamy.”

Ellen Pompeo on Grey's Anatomy
Ellen Pompeo on Grey’s Anatomy Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Capshaw and Drew’s exits have “nothing to do with” Pompeo’s raises, something the show’s lead expressed on Twitter after Deadline seemingly assumed otherwise. “Its unfortunate that Deadline chooses to try to pit women against each other on #InternationalWomensDay #shameonyounotme,” she tweeted on Thursday. “I’m a big girl Deadline can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don’t fall into that trap. This is above my pay grade.”

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Showrunner Krista Vernoff defended Pompeo on Twitter, reiterating her tweet and adding that the characters were being written off the show because “it felt right creatively to wrap up their stories.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Jennifer Heger.

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