All America did everything so pretty last night.
The long-running CW drama killed off a major character.
Taye Diggs – who has played Billy Baker on All American since its premiere in 2018 – was written off the show in an unexpected turn of events involving a fatal bus crash.
What prompted such a development?!?
A request from Diggs himself, it turns out.
“It has been an honor to work with Taye over the past five seasons and watch him bring extraordinary life to the role of Billy Baker,” Nkechi Executive Producer Okoro Carroll said in a statement after the Season 5 installment premiered.
“It is truly a gift to me and my co-writers to write characters who are both flawed and heroic.”
Nkechi Executive Producer Okoro Carroll released a statement to ET on Monday, discussing Diggs’ departure from the show after five years.
“Billy is all of us and it’s been a joy to watch this character grow as he raises his kids and his football players as one big family.
“We wish Taye all the best in this next chapter of his life and he remains a beloved member of the All American family.”
Carroll also says, in an interesting way, that viewers probably “haven’t seen the last of Billy Baker”.
During an emotional hour, Billy and the South Crenshaw football players partake in a combo that gives the kids a chance to show off their skills for a college coach.
On the way home from the event, the bus that Billy, Asher, Jabari and the other Crenshaw players were traveling on suffered a flat tire causing an accident which sent the bus teetering dangerously over the edge of a ravine.
Shortly thereafter, the episode closes with Billy’s family learning of his death.
Diggs told TV Line Monday night that he was “one hundred” percent open to going back through flashbacks, making it clear there weren’t any hard feelings on either side.
“I had a great time,” Diggs also told TV Line about how this call came about.
“That’s just the feeling I get [that I was ready to leave], and I appreciate the feeling. It was probably the middle of season four.
“I don’t even remember, to be honest, because the showrunner and myself were close. We kept in touch, so he knew, and we talked.
“And we decide how to do it, and storylines and whatnot, so it’s all above board, and everybody knows.”