‘Scandal’ will be short one Gladiator come fall (if the series gets renewed), as Columbus Short will not return for Season 4 of the hit Shonda Rhimes series on ABC.
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Short, known for playing Harrison Wright alongside Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) & Associates, released the following statement via a publicist:
“At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today. I would like to first thank [creator] 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 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.”
The third season finale, which aired last week, left Harrison’s storyline open with newly reinstated B613 head Rowan (Joe Morton) and undercover Secret Service man, Tom, holding Harrison at gunpoint in the final minutes. Did he get shot? Did he survive? Those were two questions left unanswered.
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There's been speculation regarding Short's 'Scandal' status, especially since he's been dealing with several personal matters over the past few weeks, like being accused of threatening to kill his wife, and being arrested and charged with one count of felony battery with serious bodily injury, which stemmed from his alleged involvement in a bar fight last March.
According to E! News, a source who works on the show told the entertainement site that the choice to exit the series was not Short's, but rather made for "creative purposes."
With Short’s departure, does this mean Harrison will be killed off, or will he leave OPA for other reasons? No official word yet, but we’ll keep you updated.