Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak, announced on Instagram Saturday that she will be leaving the show and not appearing in Arrow Season 8.
Rickards’s farewell poem is a love letter of sorts to both the characters and the fans. It does not, however, specify as to why she is leaving the show.
Arrow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Beth Schwartz released a statement addressing the shocking exit. It reads:
“We’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily since Season 1 and in those past seven years she has brought one of TV’s most beloved characters to life. And although we’re heartbroken to see both Emily and Felicity leave the show, we’re completely supportive of Emily and her future endeavors. She will always have a family at Arrow.
Rickards’s Felicity Smoak was part of a long and proud tradition of tertiary TV characters who forced themselves onto the main cast through sheer charm and pluck. The character, though having a comic book history dating back to 1984, was introduced as a guest star in the first season’s third episode. Felicity was an IT technician at Queen Consolidated who eventually became a a full-fledged member of Oliver Queen’s crime-fighting team. Rickards was made a series regular partway through season 1.
Felicity’s departure makes Oliver Queen’s Arrow Season 8 mission a lot murkier. Oliver actor Stephen Amell took to Twitter to say goodbye to his onscreen better half with a screenshot of her first moment onscreen.