Fans may still be mourning that their beloved Duke of Hastings will no longer appear in Bridgerton, but one person is applauding Regé-Jean Page for exiting the show.

Speaking to Variety, showrunner Shonda Rhimes explained why she bares no ill-will toward Page, and instead is fully supportive of his decision to star in just one season.

Rhjimes recalled, “Rightfully, he said, ‘I signed up to do this one lovely story, this closed-ended storyline. I’m good!’ And I don’t blame him for that.”

“I think that he was really smart to leave the perfection as the perfection,” Rhimes continued, noting his exit sets his character’s happily-ever-after in stone.

Season one ended with Simon choosing wife Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, over revenge and starting a family of their own, thus continuing the family line.

“What I loved was we were going to create this powerful, exciting, amazing romance,” Rhimes said of the first season before comparing it to other long-running shows. “For once in television, they were going to get to have their happily ever after versus — well, you know!”

In a possible gentle reference to Grey’s Anatomy, where the show’s protagonist has lost several lovers across the years, Rhimes elaborated, “In network television, you have to come up with 15 years of why a couple has to be apart.”

And while she is thrilled that a beloved character gets to enjoy a happy ending, Rhimes is also delighted by how the internet burned over Page’s departure.

“People’s attachment to couples is real — I mean, I know that better than anybody,” she laughed. “And I think that means success. But I do understand their despair.”

Rhimes hinted the door will always be left open for Page, since Netflix has renewed Brigerton for multiple seasons.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.