Why is Alexis Bledel leaving The Handmaid’s Tale?

In the season five premiere of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Alexis Bledel won’t be there. The actress, who has portrayed the character of Emily for all four seasons, announced in late May that she would not be returning to the show for its next episode, which is currently filming.

“After careful consideration, I felt I had to walk away from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ at this time,” Bledel said in a statement provided to USA today. “I am forever grateful to (series creator) Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support.”

Bledel hasn’t said why she chose to step away from the Hulu show, so fans are wondering why she wouldn’t want to go back on her story. Emily has played a pivotal role thus far, initially stepping in as June’s (Elisabeth Moss) buying partner and eventually proving willing to go against the grain and help the women and children flee to the Canada. Each season earned her an Emmy nomination, and she won the award after the first season.

The show, based on the written work of the same name by Margaret Atwood, is weighty and feels particularly poignant with the state of the United States at this time. In the series, the maids have no bodily autonomy and are instead used as breeders and abused. The show can sometimes be difficult to watch and most likely difficult to participate in.

“Television and theater are safe places to see your worst fears come true and kind of experience them from a distance,” Miller told a Television Critics Association panel in February, according to USA Today. “When you make up something horrible in your head and put it on TV and then hear something like that happen in the real world, it’s just sickening.”

It’s unclear exactly why Bledel isn’t returning to the show and whether or not she has any other projects in the works. ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3’ is supposed to be on the horizon, according to what America Ferrera said SiriusXM in November 2021, so maybe Bledel will work on that instead.

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