When last we saw Columbus Short’s character, Harrison Wright, on ABC’s Scandal, he had a gun to his head, and now it looks like he won’t make it out alive when the as-yet-unannounced fourth season arrives in the fall. Following domestic abuse claims, Short has opted to exit the hit Shonda Rhimes political thriller, and has since released an official statement:
“At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for three years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today. I would like to first thank Shonda Rhimes for the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast.
“Thank you Gladiators, who have supported me throughout my entire career and of course to ABC and Shondaland for allowing me to play such a pivotal role in the Scandal series. I have enjoyed every single minute of it. Everything must come to an end, and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas. I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry [Washington] and the rest of the cast, who have become like a second family to me in such a short amount of time. For this, I will forever be grateful.”
Short was arrested in March after an alleged altercation at a restaurant in West Los Angeles, and was subsequently released on bail. If convicted, he faces four years in prison. On top of that, he was recently hit with a restraining order from his wife after she claimed he threatened her life during a fight at their home earlier this month.
Short’s character is one of the original series regulars on Scandal, so it will be sad to see him go. His exit comes as no surprise however, as Shonda Rhimes is famous for having a no-tolerance policy on matters such as this, as previously seen by the collection of firings during the early seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
As I mentioned, Scandal has yet to be officially renewed for a fourth season, but The Hollywood Reporter states that it’s a lock to return, so it will be interesting to see how the writers handle Short’s departure.