Why Arizona & April's Exit From Grey's Anatomy Feels Like A Death In The Family
A tribute to Arizona Robbins and April Kepner for giving us strength when we needed it the most.
Why Arizona Robbins And April Kepner Leaving Grey's Anatomy Feels Like A Death In The Family
Grey’s Anatomy has lost its fair share of fan-favorite characters. But, Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) and April Kepner (Sarah Drew) leaving Grey’s Anatomy is devastating. While we know it’s not the end of the world, unless of course, their characters are killed off ala Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), this one is hitting fans hard. From widespread panic on the internet to grand gestures in real life, fans have been vocal about this abrupt change in the Grey’s Anatomy cast. And now it’s our turn to pay tribute to two trailblazing women who gave us strength when we needed it the most.
Since the announcement of their departures a few weeks into season fourteen, Grey’s Anatomy fans have been in mourning mode, which only exploded tenfold after last week's preview for the upcoming episode showed April's life in danger. When the announcement was made that April and Arizona were leaving Grey’s, both fans and actors were shocked as Capshaw and Drew were let go for “creative” reasons and given only 48-hours’ notice before the news broke out to the public.
I’m amongst the fans who are frustrated. I am frustrated that two completely different representation of women were dropped for creative reasons, as if the stories told about the LGBTQIA community or progressive Christians were exacerbated on Grey’s Anatomy, which has always been a place where different representations of women flourished.
These characters have done more for its fans than most people realize, and we can’t just let that go. We’re upset. And we’re allowed to be. We’ve made connections to these characters, whether that’s through their experiences or even the drama that they create. We embrace their successes and cry when they fail. We learn from their mistakes or struggles as if they were our own. We see them and learn about someone else’s perspective. We connect to them as people.
Arizona Robbins's story is one that needs to be told. Arizona first arrived in 2009, a time when a proud lesbian was a rare sight to see on any series on network television. Arizona was unapologetic about her sexuality, and that in itself gives people someone to look up to and the courage to do the same. And her iconic romance with Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) was one that sparked discussion and better understanding of the LGBTQIA community.
It was Arizona who convinced Callie's father to accept his daughter's sexuality, that Callie was still the same person that he raised her to be. It was Arizona who accepted and embraced Callie’s bisexuality after Erica Hahn left her saying she couldn’t be “half gay.” Arizona has helped people within the LGBTQIA community accept themselves and people outside the community to be more accepting.
But, her sexuality was not all Arizona had to offer. She was a badass surgeon. A mentor to the fantastic Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). A mother. And also, a woman with a disability. Later in the series, Arizona lost her leg in the plane crash episode. Viewers watched her struggle to get back to the optimistic self, but she eventually did. She overcame.
No matter the situation. No matter how dark the situation. Arizona was the light we didn’t know we needed. A good man in a storm.
I’m so thankful that Arizona Robbins and Jessica Capshaw have been a big part of my life the last years. In less than two weeks i’m gonna say goodbye to Az, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna forget her. Thank you @JessicaCapshaw for the beautiful last 10 years!!!💕💕— Wf_Juana🇦🇷 (@wf_juana) May 8, 2018
April Kepner is a pure underdog. When we met April, the audience learned to hate her but gradually learned to love her throughout the seasons. And in the end, she showed us strength even when we thought it was impossible.
For those of you who don't remember, April joined Grey's in season six, where Seattle Grace merged with Mercy West. This was the first big change audiences experienced, as Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) and George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) left the Shondaland series, and April was disliked by her colleagues and audiences alike.
After making a mistake which ultimately led to a patient's death, she was fired. However, she was brought back to the show and the tides shifted. April grew. She battled through everything that the Shondaland gods had to throw at her and came out the other side with the battle scars to prove it.
From conflict over her faith to a miscarriage to her divorce with Jackson (Jesse Williams), one thing remained consistent. Her ability to overcome. To be a soldier.
April Kepner’s character development is one of the greatest on the show. she’s grown into an amazing trauma surgeon and is a constant reminder that failure isnt the end of the world; you can push through and reach success. @sarahdrew thank you for bringing her to life. i love you pic.twitter.com/08cmeeSjBt— lucy (@rainbowrobbins) March 9, 2018
Arizona and April's impact goes beyond wanting to escape the realities of everyday life. Their voices and stories on television gave their groups a voice and an outlet to hold onto. And that is exactly why this exit feels so personal.
And while we know there isn’t a lot we can do now, we can properly send April and Arizona off by letting their creators know how much we appreciate what they have done for us by bringing these characters into our lives.
So, thank you to Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the Grey’s Anatomy team for bringing us these complex and fulfilling characters. Thank you to Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew for bringing life and spark into these spectacular characters.Thank you to April for always inspiring us to be a soldier. Thank you to Arizona for always reminding us to be a good man in a storm.
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