Williams will say goodbye to his character Jackson Avery in the May 20 episode, two weeks before the June 3 Season 17 finale. The news was revealed on Thursday's episode featuring his reunion with Sarah Drew's April Kepner. “Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift,” Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a statement. “Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work. We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years.” Williams' contract is up at the end of this season. Grey's Anatomy hasn't been picked up for Season 18, but is expected to be. Williams said in a statement that he was "forever grateful" to work with Vernoff, Shonda Rhimes and Debbie Allen, adding: “As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds. The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”ALSO: Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. urge people to get vaccinated in a COVID PSA.