Once Upon a Time‘s cast continues to dwindle ahead of its seventh season.
Emilie de Ravin and Rebecca Mader took to Instagram to announce that they would not be returning to the series as their respective characters, Belle and Wicked Witch of the West.
“Dear #oncers. I wanted to tell you guys myself, but it seems the news was already released :/ … I won’t be returning to #onceuponatime for Season 7,” de Ravin wrote alongside a photo of herself as Belle on Friday. “While I would have loved to continue exploring Belle’s journey, the show has decided to move in a different creative direction.”
“Massive thank you to all the fans for your incredible love & support towards me & this character over the past 6 yrs. It’s been an honor & a privilege to bring Belle to life :),” she concluded. “Congrats to Adam & Eddy & the returning cast & crew!! I wish you all a wonderful 7th Season!! Much love ?xo.”
In her post on Thursday, Mader explained that it wasn’t her decision to leave the show, but that she “respects and understands” the decision.
To my Darling Pretties, First of all I would like to start by congratulating Adam, Eddie, Lana, Bobby and Colin on the pick up of Once Upon A Time! I am truly happy for you all and most importantly for the fans that will get to keep tuning in each week to see where they will take us. A lot of you have been asking if I will be joining everyone in Season 7, so I wanted to let you know personally that unfortunately I am not. This wasn’t my choice but a creative decision of the shows that I totally respect and understand. The most important thing is that you all know how much you mean to me. I am told frequently both online and in person that by being a part of such a special show I have in some way changed someone’s life. This is hugely meaningful to me. I am here to let you know that I am the one who has been changed. Not just by playing such a well written multi-dimensional character but by the fandom itself. I have heard your stories, your pain, your struggles, your achievements and I have truly felt you. I have learned. I have grown. I am a better person because of you, the fans and everyone that blessed me with this opportunity to play such an iconic role. Congrats all and thank you! I look forward to the next. I invite you to come with me on this journey. I am forever changed. And I’m wicked. And Wicked Always Wins. Forever yours, Bex ?
Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) and Jared S. Gilmore (Henry) are also leaving Storybrooke, co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz announced in a statement on Friday.
News of the major cast departures follows Morrison’s announcement that she would be leaving the series on Monday, after six seasons playing Emma Swan. Once Upon a Time was renewed for season seven on Thursday, and is expected to focus on returning cast members Lana Parilla (Regina Mills), Robert Carlyle (Rumpelstiltskin) and Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Killian “Hook” Jones).
ET has reached out to ABC for comment.
The season six finale of Once Upon a Time airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.