Grey's Anatomy is about to lose yet another cast member

Grey's Anatomy is about to bid farewell to another cast member with the departure of Jake Borelli coming in season 21.
2024 People's Choice Awards
2024 People's Choice Awards / Monica Schipper/GettyImages

Grey Sloan Memorial is about to lose yet another member of its long-running cast, and this one is definitely a hit for the show’s LGBTQ+ representation. After seven seasons on the show playing Levi Schmitt, Jake Borelli is leaving Grey’s Anatomy and will be stepping away sometime in the show’s upcoming 21st season. 

Details surrounding Borelli’s exit are unknown, but Deadline reports he will return for a yet-to-be-specified number of episodes next season to help wrap up Schmitt’s storyline. It’s also unclear when his final episode will air or why exactly Borelli is looking to exit the show. 

His departure from the show marks a huge loss for the show’s diversity as Borelli’s Schmitt is currently the only openly gay male series regular character on the show. He’s a character who leaves behind an unrivaled legacy on the show having made several firsts on the show as the series’ first openly gay male doctor including sharing the first kiss between two male doctors and the first gay romance between two male characters. 

Borelli brought representation to the screen in a way we hadn’t before seen on Grey’s Anatomy and his departure marks a huge blow for the show’s LGBTQ+ representation. 

We might be seeing less of our favorite characters in Grey’s Anatomy season 21

Not only is Jake Borelli leaving Grey’s Anatomy, but it sounds like we might be seeing less of many of our other favorite characters next season. 

When reporting on Borelli’s exit, Deadline reported that ABC is looking to cut the episodic guarantees for its veteran cast members meaning we’re likely to see less of many of our favorite characters. The move is said to be a cost-cutting effort to help prevent the cast from taking direct pay cuts, though their earnings will decrease as their episode count is cut. 

This is a common move in today’s TV landscape as networks make cost-cutting moves in efforts to save money and keep shows coming back. We’ve seen many series reduce the episode count of its series regulars in recent years including the One Chicago shows. It’s unclear how many fewer episodes certain members of the cast will appear in next season but it likely will result in key series regulars missing at least a few episodes in season 21.

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