Grey's Anatomy star Eric Dane shares reason he was "let go" from show

mark sloan in grey's anatomy
Grey's Anatomy's Eric Dane shares reasons for exitVivian Zink - Getty Images

Note: This article contains discussion of drug and alcohol addiction.

Grey’s Anatomy star Eric Dane has shared why he was “let go” from the show, saying that he now understands why.

The actor played Dr Mark Sloan (aka McSteamy) in the medical drama between 2006 and 2012, with the character being killed off in the ninth season premiere after succumbing to his injuries following a plane crash.

mark sloan in grey's anatomy
Vivian Zink - Getty Images

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In an interview on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast, Dane shared details of the circumstances regarding his departure, recalling his struggles with addiction as well as his growing fame at the time.

“I didn't leave so much as I think I was let go,” he began. “They didn't let me go because of that [alcohol and drug addiction], although it definitely didn't help.

"If you take the whole eight years I was on Grey's, I was f**ked up longer than I was sober, and that was when things started going sideways for me.

“I was starting to become, as most of these actors who have spent significant time on the show, you start to become very expensive for the network. And the network knows that the show is going to do what it's going to do irrespective of who they keep on it – as long as they have their Grey, they were fine.

eric dane, bad boys ride or die premiere
Steve Granitz - Getty Images

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“I wasn't the same guy they had hired, so I had understood when I was let go, and [creator] Shonda [Rhimes] was really great. She protected us fiercely – [both] publicly and privately.

"I love Shonda – she protected me, but I was probably fired. It wasn't ceremoniously like, 'You're fired', it was just like 'You're not coming back'.”

Though Dane left back in the ninth season, Grey’s Anatomy has gone on strong ever since, with the show set to return next year with its 21st season. The show will also have a returning cast member, with Jason George set to reprise his role as Dr Ben Warren after a stint on spinoff show Station 19.

Grey's Anatomy season 20 and Station 19's final season are airing on ABC in the US. Both shows stream on Disney+ in the UK.

For more on drug addiction and dependency, including information and support, please visit FRANK or Action on Addiction.

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