Few TV series have fandoms as strong as Grey’s Anatomy does, and never is that clearer than when the writers manage to anger the show’s Japril (the couple name for Jackson and April) fans. But occasionally, that passion turns problematic at which point Grey’s stars sometimes stage an internet intervention to help get fans to chill out. Case in point? Sarah Drew, who plays April and will be leaving Grey’s soon, recently admonishing fans on Twitter for laying into her costar Kelly McCreary.
Essentially, fans of the series who aren’t ready to give up on the love once shared by April and Jackson Avery (played by Jesse Williams) can’t get behind Jackson’s new relationship with McCreary’s character, Maggie. And while being supportive ‘shippers is all well and good, Drew wants fans to know it is never OK to launch personal attacks.
So, on Tuesday, Drew took to Twitter to send a pointed message out to fans in defense of her friend and costar.
“I need to say something to some of you. I say ‘some’ because I know that many of you are not participating in this,” Drew started, careful not to lump all Japril ‘shippers in together.
Please read. Sending you all love. pic.twitter.com/VOW6fet7Ht
— Sarah Drew (@sarahdrew) May 8, 2018
She continued, “Look, I know these characters mean so much to you — believe me, they mean a lot to me, too — but I do not feel defended when you attack my friends. My beautiful, loving, loyal sister, Kelly, is a brilliant, fiercely talented team player who ALWAYS shows up and dedicates herself to the stories she is asked to tell. Please stop attacking her for doing her job. When you hurt her, you hurt me. When you show kindness to her, you show kindness to me. Please be kind.”
Welp, it’s official. Now we’re even sadder to see Drew leave the series! The actor always carries herself with class, and this is the latest example. Above and beyond our sorrow over her impending departure, though, it’s important to recognize the sentiment behind Drew’s statement.
Does it suck that Drew is being written off the show? Absolutely. Most Grey’s fans are likely in agreement that she is a phenomenal talent. April is beloved on the series and important on a grander scale for portraying a rarely represented demographic on primetime television: the strong, openly Christian character.
However, with the release of this week’s jarring promo for the episode titled “Cold as Ice,” April’s death seems increasingly inevitable. This explains the renewed anger from Japril fans, who feel as though the showrunners and writers would be killing April off just to hold space for the Jackson and Maggie relationship.
Still, this is Grey’s Anatomy we’re talking about. It’s entirely possible the good doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital will pull off a miracle and save Drew’s life. Then again, this is Grey’s Anatomy we’re talking about. It’s arguably much more plausible that she will die and join the ranks of Derek, Sloan, Lexie, George and so many, many more.
Kindness matters. There are real people portraying these characters — people who pour themselves into creating the characters in a way that feels tangible to fans. At the end of the day, McCreary is just doing her job, and Drew has made one thing crystal clear: She’s rooting for costars, and she wants her fans to show McCreary the same respect they’ve shown her during her nine years on this show.