Barbie Ferreira announced tonight that she won’t be returning to HBO’s Euphoria when it comes back for its third season; the saga of fan-fiction superstar/successful cam-girl/regular screwed-up teenager Kat—having already more-or-less disappeared into the show’s background over the course of its second season on the network—has now apparently come to an end.
Per Vulture, Ferreira announced the news on her Instagram Stories, writing that, “after four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye.” She also posted a piece of Kat fan art, apparently done by co-star Hunter Schafer.
And, yeah: It’s hard not to lump this latest news into the massive amounts of wider speculation surrounding the behind-the-scenes drama on the hit teen series, most of it centered on creator Sam Levinson, who writes and directs each episode. In past interviews, Ferreira has suggested that reports of on-set tension and set walk-offs related to Levinson—speculated to have led to reduced screen time for Kat in the second season—were at least partly exaggerated or untrue; she told TV Insider back in March that, “I’ve seen so many different things and a lot of it is untrue, and some of it’s kind of like mundane little things.” On the other hand, she also said she had high hopes for Kat to get more featured time in the show’s third season—which has been approved by the network, release date TBD—so clearly something has shifted there.
Euphoria continues to be a hit for HBO, with its second-season finale, which aired back in February, posting some of its biggest ratings to date. Ferreira’s Kat was a big part of its initial season—with plotlines focusing on her explorations of body positivity and her own sexuality—but received significantly less focus in its second run.