In what should be absolutely no surprise to fans of the series (given his recent off-screen troubles) Columbus Short will NOT be returning for the 4th season of ABC's hit Shonda Rhimes series, Scandal.
On the season finale of the series last week, Columbus Short’s character, Harrison Wright, was left, held at gunpoint by a B-613 operative, leaving fans wondering if that implied the character would be killed off the series.
The answer here is yes, apparently, given today's news.
A month ago, Short was involved in a bar fight in Los Angeles and allegedly knocked another man out. He was charged with a felony count of battery with serious bodily injury.
And last week, his wife of eight years, Tuere Tanee Short, reportedly filed for divorce, alleging that he tried to kill her and himself. Tuere is seeking full custody of their 2-year-old daughter Ayala.
"At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I've called home for three years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today. I would like to first thank Shonda Rhimes for the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast," Short said in a statement. "Thank you Gladiators, who have supported me throughout my entire career and of course to ABC and Shondaland for allowing me to play such a pivotal role in the Scandal series. I have enjoyed every single minute of it. Everything must come to an end and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas. I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry and the rest of the cast, who have become like a second family to me in such a short amount of time. For this, I will forever be grateful."
A moment of silence...
Will he be replaced by another black actor? We have an entire summer to find out, until the next season starts in the fall - a season that could signal the beginning of the end of the series for Rhimes, who previously teased that she knew when it would officially end, wanting to leave it while on a high.
So much for Harrison's backstory becoming front and center as was promised before the start of last season. Given how underused I'm told the character was in the series, he probably won't be missed much, and his absence likely won't affect the ongoing drama, will it?
Disclaimer: I haven't watched Scandal since the first season, so I'm relying on what fans of the series have told me about it.
But given Mr Short's off-screen scandals (pun intended), it sounds like he could use a fixer of his own. Maybe he can call the real-life pro Olivia Pope is based on - Judy Smith.
By the way, while ABC hasn't officially renewed the show for a fourth season, given its strong ratings last season, I'll be shocked if it was not.
At the moment, Columbus Short isn't attached to any other projects that we are aware of.