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Showtime on Ruth Wilson’s Exit From ‘The Affair’: ‘Everyone Agreed the Character’s Story Had Run Its Course’

Ruth Wilson The Affair
Patrick Wymore

Ruth Wilson stoked speculation about the reason for her departure from Showtime’s “The Affair” when she said she’s “not allowed” to talk about the situation during a TV appearance Thursday morning.

Wilson appeared on “CBS This Morning” to talk about the dramatic exit of her character, Alison, from the Showtime drama that examines the impact of an extramarital affair from multiple perspectives. There had been speculation Wilson left because she was earning less than her male co-star, Dominic West. Asked by “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King directly about the pay parity question, Wilson replied: “I’ve never complained to Showtime about pay parity.”

Later Thursday, Showtime addressed the awkwardness of Wilson’s comment with a statement asserting that Alison’s demise was a creative decision.

“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,” Showtime said. “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.”

A source close to the situation said Wilson came to producers before the start of production on season 4 and asked to be let out of her contract because she wanted to pursue the BBC/PBS production of “Mrs. Wilson.” The three-part drama series is based on the true story of a shocking family revelation that Wilson’s grandmother experienced in the U.K. in the 1940s.

Reps for Wilson did not respond to requests for comment.