Shonda Rhimes, whose production studio Shondaland is behind the hit series 'Bridgerton', has spoken out on what she thought about the fan reaction to Regé-Jean Page leaving the show.
Shonda Rhimes is also known for her work on such series as 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Scandal', and 'How To Get Away With Murder'.
'Bridgerton' marks the first scripted series to launch under her nine-figure, multi-year deal with Netflix.
The producer has shared her response to the news that Regé-Jean Page won't be back for the second season of the romantic drama.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Shonda Rhimes spoke about how she was "shocked" by how upset fans were at the news.
She said: "I was really shocked, because usually that happens when I’ve killed off somebody that’s been around for a while. Like, we didn’t kill him, he’s still alive!
"[Regé-Jean] is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job—every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance.
She continued: "I don’t know that I expected this much of an explosion, given that every book [in the 'Bridgerton' series] is a different romance. What would be the ever-after of this combo?
"I mean, really: What would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming. And so yeah, I was like, whoa!"
Shonda Rhimes clarified that while he'd only signed on for one season, Page was invited to return for a season two cameo, along with a few other season one characters.
When the news initially broke of his leaving the show, Rhimes wrote on Instagram: "Remember: the Duke is never gone. He's just waiting to be binge watched all over again."
Shonda also dismissed the recent report that Regé-Jean Page decided to leave the series due to "creative differences."