Update: It turns out that viewers weren't the only ones caught off guard by Sara Ramirez's decision to leave Grey's Anatomy. Speaking at the Vulture Festival in New York City this weekend, Shonda Rhimes confirmed that she learned of Ramirez's plans to leave the show after 10 seasons just days before the announcement went public. “This one was different, because it wasn’t a big, planned thing,” Rhimes said. “I had a different plan going, and when Sara came in and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ I was lucky that we’d shot the end of the season with her going to New York.” Rhimes assured everyone that there are no hard feelings. “I feel really good about the fact that she said that she wanted to take this break," she added. "I love the woman and I want everything for her. It all worked out in that sense, but I don’t like to see anybody go."
This article was originally published on May 20, 2016. For those who watched last night's Grey's Anatomy finale and wondered what exactly the future holds for Dr. Callie Torres, it turns out, it won't include Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes confirmed Dr. Callie would not be back next season, despite her open-ended departure in the season 12 closer, by posting an emotional goodbye message to the character on Twitter. "Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago," Rhimes wrote. "And I could not be happier or more proud of her journey." Rhimes continued by praising actress Sara Ramirez's portrayal of the bisexual character, writing, that her performance "inspired me as well as millions of fans each week." The creator wished Ramirez, who has been on the show for a decade, "the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara." Rhimes then ended her bittersweet message with a standing offer that should make Grey's fans hopeful: "She will always have a home at Shondaland."
If Rhimes hadn't already confirmed Ramirez' departure, it became even more official after the actress tweeted, "I'm 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." In her goodbye message, Ramirez added, "Shonda's been so incredible to work for and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my Love to Ellen [Pompeo], the rest of the cast & crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!" So fans of Dr. Callie Torres, maybe don't think of this as a goodbye forever, just a farewell for now.