Shonda Rhimes sympathizes with fans over Regé-Jean Page's 'Bridgerton' exit

'I do understand their despair,' Shonda Rhimes confesses

Rege-Jean Page attends "The Tragedy Of Macbeth" European Premiere during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 17, 2021 in London, England
(Image credit: Dave J Hogan / Getty)

Shonda Rhimes broke hearts around the world, and she's taking responsibility for all of the wallowing. 

Though she's spoken out about Regé-Jean Page's Bridgerton exit previously, now the producer has a sympathetic outlook towards fans everyone who was devastated about the Duke of Hastings' departure from the Netflix period drama. 

Though she attributes viewers' shock and frustration to having created a rewarding TV couple, she does understand that romance fans are less than pleased to learn their crush would be bowing out gracefully. (We wouldn't expect anything less from the Duke.) 

"People's attachment to couples is real—I mean, I know that better than anybody," Rhimes revealed in a new interview with Variety. "And I think that means success. But I do understand their despair."

She has also revealed that she overestimated how much hurt fans felt. Since the Bridgerton stories do follow different family members throughout the series, she expected that viewers would go with the flow. 

Joke's on you, Ms. Rhimes. 

"He's an enormous star now. As I like to say, the idea that we would write Regé to stand around in the background doesn't make any sense at all to me. 'What would he do?' is what I like to say," she further told the publication. 

Looks like it really will be all about Anthony Bridgerton during the show's next go-around. 


(Image credit: NETFLIX © 2020/ LIAM DANIEL)

Taking a break from the love department, Rhimes has also been busy with another Netflix project, Inventing Anna, which focuses on the fake German heiress who swindled New York City elite out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Although the Anna Delvey controversy is a far cry from the likes of Bridgerton, fans are equally as excited about the forthcoming series. Let's just hope they don't find a heartthrob on the show that won't return for a second season, should there be one. 

In the meantime, those who are sweet on the Duke can also see him in a new light the forthcoming heist thriller The Gray Man on Netflix. We think this is the perfect segue into a 007 role, but we'll stop there. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.