Olivia Pope and Associates will be one Gladiator lighter when the show returns in the fall.
EW has learned that Columbus Short, whose character Harrison has been on the show since season 1, will not be returning for Scandal‘s fourth season.
Short released this statement via a publicist:
“At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today. I would like to first thank [creator] Shonda Rhimes for the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast. Thank you GLADIATORS, who have supported me throughout my entire career and of course to ABC and Shondaland for allowing me to play such a pivotal role in the Scandal series. I have enjoyed every single minute of it. Everything must come to an end and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas. I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry and the rest of the cast, who have become like a second family to me in such a short amount of time. For this, I will forever be grateful.”
In the season 3 finale, which aired last week to record ratings, Harrison’s future was left unknown, as reinstated B613 head Rowan (Joe Morton) and his Secret Service henchman held him at gunpoint in the final minutes.
Short, who has been dealing with a slew of personal matters in recent months, is not the first regular cast member to make a between-seasons exit from the show, which stars Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn. Lost alum Henry Ian Cusick, who played associate/Abby’s love interest Stephen Finch, left the show at the end of season 1 to pursue other endeavors and was subsequently written out in exposition at the start of the following season.
Scandal returns in the fall on ABC.