Sad news for all Community
fans. Yvette Nicole Brown has announced she will not be part of the next season. The actress, who played Shirley Bennett, the mother figure of the group, asked to be released from her contract to take care of her father.
Speaking on her departure Brown has said, “My dad needs daily care and he needs me. The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn’t do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad. I’m still Community’s biggest fan and I’ll still live-tweet episodes. It’s very bittersweet. I can take care of my dad but I won’t be with my TV family. I don’t want fans to worry, it’s going to be fine. Greendale is the heart of the show, not any particular character. Even if characters come and go, the heart of Greendale remains.”
Brown had previously booked a recurring role of CBS’ The Odd Couple
, which is a multi-cam sitcom (unlike Community
which is single cam, hence the long working hours), and in regard to appearing again is “totally open to whatever Dan [Harmon, creator and show runner] decides”.
The departure of Brown comes after Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and recurring star Jonathan Banks all left the show in quick succession, leaving only Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie and Ken Jeong as the remaining original cast members. Producers are now looking to add two new characters, a women who’s brought in as a consultant to help shape up the school, and a retired salesman who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself, to the show.
Having heard Yvette speak at Oz Comic Con earlier this year, I know how much she enjoyed working with the cast and how she notes that working on a successful show like Community
has changed her life, so it must of been a tough choice for her to make. With a potential movie on the way (which evolved from the slogan for the show, “six seasons and a movie”, which in fact was a line from the show) let’s hope we can see Glover and Brown as a part of the project, putting most of the cast, and study group, (barring Chase) back together.
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