After seven years of backsliding, grifting, and a cavalcade of nigh-constant family bullshit, Emmy Rossum has declared herself to soon be Shameless no more. Rossum announced (or strongly implied, and then had it confirmed) on Facebook today that she’ll be leaving the Showtime series at the end of its upcoming ninth season, offering an emotional farewell to her co-stars and the character of conflicted, frequently put-upon matriarch Fiona Gallagher:
See, in real life, unlike Fiona, I’m an only child. I never had a big family. Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I’d always dreamed of. But even off set, it feels real. We’ve watched the kids grow up into the strong, talented, independent human beings that they are. I taught Emma to shave her legs. I was there when Ethan learned to drive. Shanola and Jeremy and Joan and Bill danced at my wedding in New York last year. Our fearless leader John Wells thankfully held Sam and me up on those rickety chairs during the hora. I’ve spent the Jewish holy days in temple with David Nevins and his wonderful wife and kids. It really feels like a family…I know you will continue on without me, for now. There is much more Gallagher story to be told. I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block.
Showrunner John Wells confirmed that Rossum would be departing the show at the end of the season, writing, “Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family. She has been integral to the show’s success, from her wonderful portrayal of Fiona to her leadership role on set, as well as directing multiple episodes of the series. We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for Shameless which we hope will provide a Gallagher-worthy sendoff for Fiona that honors the great work Emmy has done.” Wells also noted that “the door is always open” for Rossum to make a return appearance, so take heart, Fiona fans: She’ll presumably be getting out of the Gallagher clan’s clutches alive.
Rossum’s tenure on Shameless has been mostly frictionless to outside observers, but there have been a few hiccups along the road—most notably during contract negotiations back in 2016, when she made it clear that, as the obvious lead character and star of Shameless, she might like to be paid at least as much as her male co-star, William H. Macy.