***This post contains spoilers from the season 12 finale of Grey’s Anatomy, which aired Thursday, May 19, 2016. ***
Sara Ramirez is checking out of Grey’s Anatomy…at least for now.
After more than 10 years of portraying Dr. Callie Ramirez on the ABC drama, Ramirez took to Twitter just as the season 12 finale came to a close tonight (May 19) to announce her departure from the series.
“I am deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC but for now I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez wrote before going on to thank showrunner Shonda Rhimes and costar Ellen Pompeo. “Shonda been so incredible to work for, and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my love to Ellen, the rest of the cast & crew, and I look forward to always being apart of the Shondaland family.”
As Variety points out, Ramirez may not be gone for good. In her post, the actress specifically says she’s taking “time off,” which leaves the door open for a return down the line — as does the way in which her character is written out of the series. While Grey’s Anatomy often says goodbye to characters in dramatic form (McDreamy’s death, anyone?), the season 11 finale simply shows Callie accepting a ticket to go to New York City.
Following Ramirez’s announcement, Rhimes also took to Twitter to say that actress will always have a place at Shondaland.
“Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland.”
Though Ramirez departure may come as a surprise to many fans — particularly considering she had been with the series since season 2 — the actress actually hinted that she was moving on last month when she posted a tweet saying farewell to her character.
We’re with her on the rollercoaster ride! That’s certainly how tonight’s season finale felt.
Take a look below to see how fans are reacting to the season 12 finale and Ramirez’s exit:
Here’s hoping Sara Ramirez comes back sooner rather than later! How do you feel about Ramirez’s exit from Grey’s Anatomy? Let us know in the comments!