Following Thursday's season 14 finale, Rhimes and Vernoff both took to Twitter to express their gratitude for departing stars Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw, who have played April and Arizona for nine and 10 seasons, respectively.
"I will never stop being grateful for the chance to work with @sarahdrew and @JessicaCapshaw," Rhimes wrote in a tweet Thursday evening. "In April and Arizona, they created powerful unforgettable characters."
The Grey's showrunner reiterated that no one will be joining the cast to take the place of either of those beloved characters, especially in regards to Arizona, who was the lone LGBTQ character on the series the past several seasons.
"Nobody is replacing anybody. Arizona Robbins is not replaceable. But LGBTQIA people are everywhere both in the world and on #GreysAnatomy," Vernoff promised.
While the finale was unclear about the whereabouts of April's new beginning (she revealed that she was leaving Grey Sloan to help the homeless and less fortunate), Vernoff confirmed that the former trauma surgeon was staying put in Seattle doing "God's work."
Earlier this month, Ellen Pompeo hinted to ET that Capshaw and Drew would not have tragic endings in their farewell episode. "You only get killed off when your behavior is bad. If you're a nice actor, you die nice," she said, adding, "But yeah, these endings aren't tragic."
Pompeo also shared her personal reaction when she learned that Capshaw and Drew would be leaving after the 14th season, seemingly reiterating that she wasn't part of the decision.
"My first reaction was, 'What? What do you mean? Why?' And then you go through levels and stages of grief. It's hard for them, it's hard for us, it's hard for the writer who had to make the choice, [who] had to make the creative decision," Pompeo said, adding, "You have to try to support the girls. It's just not easy for anyone, but I don't want to make it about me. It's about them and I just tried to be just as supportive as I could be to everyone involved."