Jesse Williams retires from playing the role of Jackson Avery in Grey’s Anatomy after twelve seasons . The creators of the series confirmed this after the broadcast of the latest episode of the current seventeenth season.

“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist,” showrunner Krista Vernoff said. “It was a gift to see how he developed over the years, both in front of the cameras and beyond. We are going to miss Jesse terribly and we are going to miss Jackson Avery perfectly played for years.”

It is not clear who made the decision about Williams’s departure. According to Deadline , his contract expired at the end of the current season.

The actor has directed several episodes of Grey’s Anatomy in recent years and also took the director’s chair on new series Rebel . He is also one of the producers of Two Distant Strangers , the short film that won an Oscar last month.