Sad news y’all. For “All-American” fans, at least. The CW series has officially retired Taye Diggs’ Billy Baker character.
In a shocking turn of events during the show’s 11th episode (BTW…major spoiler alert ahead), Diggs’ character was killed off, ending his impressive five-season run.
Now, in a conversation with TV Line, Diggs is giving a behind-the-scenes explanation on why he chose to retire the Billy Baker character and when the conversations about him leaving the show started.
“I was having a great time. It was just a feeling that I got [that I was ready to leave], and I just honored that feeling,” the “The Best Man: Final Chapters” star said, adding that he discussed his decision with showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll, who supported his decision and the planning on his character leaving the show began. This was at the halfway point of season 4.
And when it came time to figure out how Diggs would exit the show, unfortunately for him and Nkechi, his death was the best option.
“The easiest choice would have been for me to teach at some college, but then given the intensity of the relationships between me and my family, and me and the team, it would not make sense if I was still alive and wasn’t still in contact with these children of mine — these students, these young men that had such an influence on my life,” Diggs explained, adding that this was the first time a character he played was killed off.
“When I was told how I was exiting, I was impressed. No characters I’ve played have ever been dealt with in that fashion. I was honored,”
Diggs also shared the news of his character’s exit on his IG page on Tuesday (Feb 14).
“That’s a wrap! Thank you, fans, for your unrelenting support. Thank you, cast, for your energy and unrivaled talent. Y’all are EVERYTHING and will always be,” he captioned his post. “THANK YOU, NnKe, For such a graceful exit and for altering the trajectory of my life as an actor, parent, and a human being. SO MUCH LOVE”
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All American follows a talented high school player (played by Daniel Ezra) from South Central recruited to play for Beverley Hills High School. Taye Diggs’ character Billy Baker was his coach and second father figure. It’ll be interesting to see how Spencer (Daniel Ezra) handles his death and carries on.
The show also stars Bre-Z, Samantha Logan, Greta Onieogou, Michael Evans Behling, and others.