American actress Emmy Rossum, who starred as Fiona Gallagher in Showtime’s massively successful dramedy Shameless, announced Thursday that she would officially leave the TV series at the end of its next season.
“I know you will continue on without me, for now,” Rossum, 31, wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”
Shameless, which is produced by Warner Bros. TV and is set to return for its ninth season on September 9, follows the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father raising six children. Rossum’s Fiona, the family’s eldest child forced into a mother figure role, has been an important part of the Shameless story since the show’s debut in 2011.
“Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family,” John Wells, the showrunner for Shameless, said Thursday afternoon in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” he said, adding that they were preparing for her departure. “We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for Shameless which we hope will provide a Gallagher-worthy sendoff for Fiona.”
In 2016, Rossum embarked on a much publicized mission in which she demanded to receive equal pay with male lead William H. Macy, and the show’s renewal was delayed until the show’ producers accepted her request.
Rossum, who is Jewish, had in 2016 been the target of anti-Semitic supporters of President Donald Trump on Twitter. She said that she had received messages saying “get ready for the trains” and threatening to send her “to the gas chambers.”
Rossum had said previously that the outcome of the presidential election felt “personal” to her because of her Jewish heritage and certain family members.
“I am a woman. I am Jewish. I am marrying an Arab American. My sister in law is handicapped. I’m a victim of sexual violence.” she wrote. “It’s personal.”