Yes, it’s true. After 10 seasons of playing Cristina Yang, Sandra Oh will leave Grey’s Anatomy at the end of season 10. Oh, reportedly told cast members today at the table read for the 200th episode. Sandra told The Hollywood Reporter: “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go. It’s such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the Grey’s writers to think of why she’s going to go.”
“I’ve gone through a lot of therapy over this. I started thinking about it because I had to prepare myself. I gave myself two years to emotionally let go. At the end of last season, Shonda took me aside and said, ‘What are your thoughts?’ I said, ‘I’m ready.’”
“I seriously think I need that much support over processing it over this next year for me to be able to leave fully and leave in a way that I feel like Cristina deserves. For the first time, at least for my character, you actually have an endpoint, which in series television you never or very rarely have.”
Show creator Shonda Rhimes added:
“One of the best days of my life as a writer happened the day Sandra Oh walked in my door to audition and forever changed the course of Grey’s Anatomy with her brilliant, nuanced portrayal of Cristina Yang. Over the past 10 seasons, I have been made better by Sandra’s trust, faith and friendship, and I can’t quantify how grateful I am for her collaboration on a character we both love so deeply. This year is going to be bittersweet for us — we’re both going to savor every moment of Cristina Yang, and then we’re going to give her the exit she deserves. And when Sandra walks out of my door, Grey’s Anatomy will once again be forever changed.”
Oh has earned five supporting actress Emmy nominations for the role, is a four-time Image Award nominee, two-time People’s Choice Award nominee and won the Golden Globe in 2006 for the part.
Star Ellen Pompeo’s contract also expires at the end of this season, along with Patrick Dempsey, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens, Jr. ABC has said they want Grey’s Anatomy to run for many seasons to come, even if the original cast members do leave. Rhimes seems prepared to go on without them as well. Oh is the first one to say she will not renew her contract after this season.