It’s been almost a month since Ruth Wilson’s character Alison shockingly died on The Affair, and the actress says there is a “much bigger story” behind her sudden, mysterious exit. Wilson insists that it had nothing to do with pay parity or other jobs, but she says she isn’t allowed to talk about it and told writers at the New York Times that they should talk to the showrunner, Sarah Treem.
But when NYT writers attempted to talk to Treem, she gave them the same statement that Showtime issued last month when they first announced Wilson’s departure.
At the end of next year, Claire Daines, Emmy Rossum and Ruth Wilson will no longer be on Showtime. I can’t recall a network ever suffering such a significant set of losses all at once.
— Brian Davids (@BDF331) August 30, 2018
“We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season 4, 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,” said the statement.
After the August 5th episode where Alison died, Treem told The Hollywood Reporter that Wilson wanted to leave the show, and they decided to honor her request and write season 4 knowing that it would be Wilson’s last. She said it wasn’t a “discovery,” and instead, Alison’s exit was deliberate, and they shot her entire storyline before they shot anything else.
Wilson first sparked rumors that there was something behind her leaving the show when she appeared on CBS This Morning in the middle of August. She told co-host Gayle King that she didn’t want to leave the show, but she could not talk about why. When King asked her if it was about a pay gap, Wilson said she never complained about her salary.
Ruth Wilson was so amazing as Alison, she was the reason I started watching the Affair therefore I don't see the point to continue watching without her. Not to mention her character deserved so much better, she deserved to be happy and shine again. So disappointed. ?
— Jamie.☘️. (@ImposingLaird) August 24, 2018
In a later interview, Wilson said that she had no say on how her character’s arc would end, or how she would die and leave. She said that she always had the image that Alison would walk into the sunset with her son and no man, and that is what she had hoped for.
Since The Affair fans found about her departure, Wilson says she has been “really moved” by their reaction. She explained that people have connected with her character, and Alison’s death upset many fans. Ruth Wilson says she is appreciative of the fan support and their love for Alison, and that has amazed her.