UPDATE 12:36 PM: Showtime released a statement confirming Rossum’s exit from “Shameless.”
Emmy Rossum is walking away from “Shameless” after nine seasons on the Showtime series.
“I know you will continue on without me, for now,” the star wrote in a long open letter, which was posted to her official Facebook page Thursday. “There is much more Gallagher story to be told. I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block.”
“Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family,” “Shameless” executive producer and showrunner John Wells said in a statement later Thursday.
“She has been integral to the show’s success, from her wonderful portrayal of Fiona to her leadership role on set, as well as directing multiple episodes of the series,” Wells continued. “We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for ‘Shameless’ which we hope will provide a Gallagher-worthy sendoff for Fiona that honors the great work Emmy has done. It is always bittersweet when an ensemble member decides to move out of the proverbial house, but our door will always remain open for Fiona to return home for a visit, or to move back in. I look forward to continuing the stories of this wildly unpredictable family and all of us on Shameless will miss Emmy and her wonderful Fiona.”
In 2016, Rossum was involved in a pay dispute with Showtime, after demanding the same salary as co-star William H. Macy. However, the actress still agreed to return to the show ahead of its eighth season. Rossum’s parity issues with the premium cable network were said to be the reason a Season 8 renewal was delayed.
Showtime Networks President of Programming Gary Levine added Thursday: “We were saddened when Emmy Rossum let us know that the upcoming ninth season of ‘Shameless’ would be her last. But we are filled with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude for Emmy’s inspired work on our series, of course in front of the camera but also behind it. Fiona Gallagher will always be one of Showtime’s iconic characters, and we applaud Emmy for bringing this character to life in such a natural, touching and fearless performance. On behalf of everyone at Showtime and her millions of fans, we thank you Emmy!”
“It’s a hard thing to put into words, feelings. But I’m going to try,” Rossum began her post Thursday.
“This business is always an adventure, full of travel and opportunities to tell stories,” the actress continued. “Usually as an actor, every few months, you travel to a new place, start a new project, build a new character, learn new rhythms, new inside jokes with your crew, make new friends.”
“Until ‘Shameless’ came into my life 8 years ago, I led that kind of transient wonderful life of an actor,” Rossum added. “And I never realized how much I actually craved the kind of continuity that this show has given me. And given all of us in the crew. Season after season I’m amazed that our same crew comes back. And it’s not just because it’s a wonderfully written, wonderfully layered show. There are these real connections, real friendships that bring us back season after season after season.”
“For eight years and more than 100 episodes, Emmy Rossum has delivered a deeply honest, authentic and unflinching portrayal of Fiona Gallagher, one of television’s great characters,” studio Warner Bros. Television said in their own statement Thursday. “We wish her all the best as she explores the next chapter in her career. But before that, we are excited for fans of Shameless to see Emmy and the entire ensemble cast continue the adventures of the Gallagher family in the show’s upcoming ninth season.”
Representatives for Rossum did not immediately return TheWrap‘s request.
See Rossum’s open letter in its entirety below.
“Shameless” Season 9 premieres Sept. 9 at 9/8c on Showtime.