Why did Deluca leave Grey’s Anatomy?

Giacomo Gianniotti’s exit from Grey’s Anatomy as Dr Andrew Deluca was done so that the writers could give the character a heroic death at the end of the human trafficking storyline.

Giacomo Gianniotti, who played Dr Andrew Deluca in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, is noted as one of the show’s all-time favourite characters, after close to six years on the show. His exit came in episode seven of season 17, when he was stabbed by the accomplice of a human trafficker that he was following. Due to the new season following the coronavirus pandemic, fans were surprised to see him dying of a cause unrelated to the virus, which left many feeling outraged and disappointed at his sudden departure.

In an interview with TV Line, Giacomo revealed that he was informed by his executive producers that the best way for them to conclude the human trafficking storyline was to have Deluca killed. When asked about how he felt about Deluca dying of something unrelated to COVID-19, the actor stated, “We talked about the fact that a lot of people have lost loved ones this year, due to COVID and a lot of other things, and this was an opportunity to allow people to mourn their loss through the loss of a fictional character. There could be a lot of catharsis through that. So, we all talked about it, and I felt very strongly about the storyline and said, ‘[Okay], let’s do this.’”