OPA is down a gladiator.
Columbus Short is not returning to ABC’s Scandal when it returns for its fourth season in the fall, E! News has confirmed. Short’s exit from the series comes after he was arrested and charged with battery after an alleged bar fight in March. ABC had no comment on Short’s exit from the series.
“At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 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 released by his publicist. “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 source who works on the show tells us it was not Short’s decision to leave and that the choice was made for “creative purposes.” It’s still unclear as to whether ot now we will see Short’s character Harrison at all in the new season. (ABC has yet to officially pick Scandal up for a fourth season.)
One of the major cliffhangers in the season three finale, which aired on April 17, was (Spoiler Warning!) whether or not Rowan (Joe Morton) would kill Harrison after he discovered that the B613 head of command was actually responsible for the death of the president’s son.
Scandal boss Shonda Rhimes played coy about Harrison’s fate when she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the finale. “You know I can’t tell you that,” Rhimes said when asked if Harrison would be back.
Short isn’t the first of Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) gladiators to exit the show in-between seasons: Henry Ian Cusick, who is now on the CW’s The 100, exited the hit drama after season one.
After Short was arrested and charged with one count of felony battery with serious bodily injury stemming from his alleged involvement in a bar fight that took place in March, his wife Tuere Tanee filed for divorce on April 16, citing irreconcilable differences. Tanee, who is Short’s second wife, also requested a temporary restraining order against the actor, which was granted by the judge.