The Affair: Ruth Wilson and Showtime on that shocking exit


Spoiler Alert! If you’re not caught up on The Affair, there are spoilers ahead for the show’s August 5 episode.

It was a shocking turn of events. On the August 5 episode of The Affair, Ruth Wilson’s character Alison Bailey was found dead. The big question for the show to answer after that revelation was whether her death was the result of murder or suicide.

Meanwhile, the question left for fans was whether Wilson chose to leave the show of her own free will and, if so, why.

After the episode aired, series creator Sarah Treem said that Wilson made the decision to leave The Affair and not be a part of its upcoming fifth and final season.

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This was confirmed by Wilson herself during an interview on CBS This Morning, although she didn’t provide any additional details. In response to a question about her exit from co-host Gayle King, Wilson stated,

"I did want to leave, but I’m not allowed to talk about why."

When King mentioned the possibility that Wilson’s departure was due to issues regarding the disparity between her pay and that of her male co-stars — a reference to a February Radio Times interview where Wilson said her co-star Dominic West was paid more for the show than her — Wilson responded,

"I’ve never complained to Showtime about pay parity."

You can check out the interview below. The exchange regarding Wilson’s departure from The Affair starts at around the three-minute and 45 seconds mark.

After the interview, Showtime chimed in with a statement of its own that claimed Wilson left for creative reasons. The statement, which was provided to Deadline, read:

"We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season four everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course. Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment. The impact of her loss will be felt as the series concludes next season. We thank the many fans who embraced the character of Alison and especially thank Ruth for her indelible work over the past four seasons."

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Deadline also reported that a source claimed Wilson asked to leave the series before production began on its fourth season so she could be available for the three-part drama Mrs. WilsonMrs. Wilson is based on her grandmother’s memoir. She will star and executive produce the project, which is being co-produced by the BBC and Masterpiece.

Wilson can next be seen in the movie The Little Stranger. Meanwhile, the fourth season finale of The Affair airs Sunday, August 19 at 9pm ET on Showtime.