‘Glee,’ the popular musical television series, experienced its fair share of challenges and changes over the years. Among the significant transformations was the departure of Jayma Mays, who portrayed the guidance counselor, Emma Pillsbury, after the show’s fifth season.
The actress officially announced her exit from ‘Glee’ during the ‘Smurfs 2’ premiere in 2013, confirming to Access Hollywood:
“This is going to be my last season.”
Later, in an interview with Metro, Mays gave further details on why she wasn’t featured in the sixth season of the series, explaining:
“It wasn’t my choice. The creators decided to do it. We knew it was coming last year. Some other characters will also be leaving this season. It’s very sad to be going, but I understand why they do it. It’s about getting new blood into the show. I really enjoyed playing Emma. I don’t know how I’m written out yet. I’m so curious.”
Jayma’s departure came after the tragic loss of her ‘Glee’ co-star Cory Monteith, who passed away from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol in July 2013. In the same chat with Metro, she also opened up about her feelings about losing Monteith, saying:
“It’s been really hard. We just filmed his memorial episode, and it was a very difficult thing to do. It’s been a very sad and difficult year for everyone.”
Besides Mays, longtime series stars Heather Morris, Mark Salling, and Harry Shum, Jr. also decided to step down from their roles. Still, they all returned to the show as guest stars in the final sixth season of the series.