‘Grey’s’ creator opens up on Sandra Oh’s exit
August 14th, 2013
11:46 AM ET

‘Grey’s’ creator opens up on Sandra Oh’s exit

We've winced with "Grey's Anatomy's" past departures, but this one really hurts.

Shonda Rhimes has confirmed that Sandra Oh, the actress who's embodied Dr. Cristina Yang on ABC's endless medical drama since its 2005 debut, is leaving the series at the end of its 10th season.

This exit, Rhimes says, feels different.

The showrunner told The Hollywood Reporter that she knew Oh's exit, announced Tuesday, was on the way, but that doesn't make it any easier.

"For a long time the show has essentially been a love story between (Ellen Pompeo's) Meredith and Cristina more than anything else," Rhimes said. "Meredith, Cristina and (Justin Chambers') Alex, for me, were always very important characters. ... (T)his feels different. We've been doing this for 10 years - I've known these people longer than I've known some members of my family who married in. It's a different feeling and a different emotion. This is the first one of the five that's leaving where nobody wants them to leave; it's that feeling."

Oh has said that she feels "ready to let (Cristina) go," and is in a place where she thinks she's given the character all she can creatively.

“It’s been a great privilege to play the character of Cristina Yang ... and I am both sad and excited to see where this, her final season will take her,” the actress said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “It was an emotional and deeply creative decision for me and I feel fully supported by Shonda and the writers. It’s so rare in an actor’s life to be able to explore and grow a character so fully, so completely. I am profoundly grateful to everyone at GA for the opportunity.”

While Rhimes knows how Cristina Yang's story will conclude, she's being as tight-lipped as ever - even in regards to how this will affect Kevin McKidd's Owen or Pompeo's Meredith, and their central relationships with the character.

Instead, Rhimes has assured "Grey's" fans that her team has "a story that we want to tell and we want to tell it really well, and that story isn't about her leaving the show as much as it is Cristina Yang's growth as a person and as a surgeon."


Filed under: Celebrities • television

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Old soldier

    Honestly, I didn't know GA was still on TV. It has been 8 years? My wife and daughter watched it, so I was forced to watch it. S Oh was one of the few interesting characters fir me. It was funny to see her and the female doctor who eft early on were a lesbian couple in yet anther of my wife's favorite movies: Under the Tuscan Sun. She was excellent in both. Liking Tuscan Sun is one of my secret pleasures, and she s a major reason. Tchus!

    September 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Web Block 6:30pm last night...routed back too has been...thanks

    win 50

    August 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lanie

    Truly, when they kicked off Burke that was the beginning. He was a dynamic character, then onto Izzy, they dragged a lame story line out with her because they knew she wanted to leave, she abandoned the show and fans so she could make some movies, all for the money, then they get rid of Mark! OMG, the only hottie left. It's lost its newness and the innocence and friendship it had. Too bad, they screwed it up.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lanie

      I forgot to mention George, after Izzy, that was the final straw!
      His character was awesome.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Denise

    I am sorry to see christina's character leave.She was one of the main reason't that I watched Grey's Anatomy.But it really hasn't been the same since Mark's character left.He was a hunk!

    August 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    The only reason any actor stays with a show anywhere near this long is not for the challenge or any affinity toward the character whom they can play in their sleep - it's the paycheck. She must be so wealthy now, she knows she'll never have to work again because she knows that this is the best gig she's ever gotten and will likely ever get.

    August 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marketta

    scripts have been boring for a long time.....time for a freshen up

    August 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The character on the show...

    she was a step down for the show it was time too get her out

    August 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Peace 50

    We are not upset...the ratings have been dead for years....september a new season has begun with better scripts ahead

    August 14, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sydney

    I am so upset that she is leaving the show. The whole story line is going down the drain. First George, then Izzy, and we went on after that for a couple of seasons. It was pretty okay. Then they wanted to throw off Lexie & Mark which was a total bust. It just isn't the same anymore. If all of the originals are going to leave then either find some replacements, or atleast try to, or get rid of the show. It's going downhill and it's pretty upsetting to see.

    August 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Perv Verbalizer

    "For a long time the show has essentially been a love story between (Ellen Pompeo's) Meredith and Cristina more than anything else,"

    Wait...what? Have I been missing some hot girl-on-girl action between Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh all these years? Dang, I shoulda been watching...

    August 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ann

      They don't mean that "literally". sheesh. The whole show has circulated around them being each others "person." That's all they mean.

      August 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peace50

    the Sandra character has been a ratings flop since the show started-its time too let it go already.
    ratings are low for years.

    August 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peace ☮

    I used to really like this show. So many of them have left, now her, too...? They better pick up on that storyline or they'll be off air.

    August 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. No Ratings Draw

    The show needs revamp

    August 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gizmo

    Your ignorance and intolerance is causing this country to hit new lows not television shows that show support for LGBT characters and female empowerment. Your very existence drags down the country's IQ.

    August 15, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mogwai

    And if you were a conservative like Ellen, you'd be hoarding bullets right now.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  16. alter_ego

    With beliefs like those, Ellen, shouldn't you be in the kitchen making your man a sandwich?
    "female empowerment BS"? Wow.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |

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