Renee Rapp has decided to leave Mindy Kaling’s hit series Sex Lives of College Girls. The multi-talented performer has hired legal representation to leave the show carefully and seamlessly without ruining the season with an abrupt departure.
Rapp rose to prominence in 2019 when she replaced original cast member Taylor Louderman on Broadway as Regina George in Tina Fey’s musical adaption of Mean Girls. As reported by Page Six, Rapp had announced her tour dates without consulting Kaling and the other producers behind the show. She is slated to perform in the US, UK, Europe, and Ireland in September this year. With the WGA writers' strike still in motion and no clear idea of when filming for season three will commence, Rapp took the opportunity to renegotiate her contract. She's pulled out the big guns by hiring famous entertainment lawyer Bryan Freedman.
In 2020, Freedman garnered attention for representing Gabrielle Union in a case against America’s Got Talent when they reportedly refused to hire her after she spoke out against racism. While the case ended “amicably,” sources from ET allege that Freedman helped Union land the long straw. According to Deadline, she will appear in the first few episodes of Season 3 before leaving the show permanently. Mindy Kaling posted on Instagram that while she is “sad to say goodbye” to Rapp and her character, she and the crew cannot wait to see their “friend on tour.”
Rapp plays Leighton Murray, a wealthy first-year student at Wesley College that grapples with her sexuality throughout seasons 1 and 2. Much like her character, Rapp has also mention she's struggled to embrace her bisexuality. She stated in an interview with Vogue that “so much of Leighton has helped [her] understand [herself].” Her role has been an essential example of queer representation in TV for fans worldwide. Her departure from the show will break up the dynamic of the four college roommates that are the core of the story, played by Pauline Chalamet (Timothee Chalamet’s older sister), Amrit Kaur, and Alyah Chanelle Scott. Rapp revealed on the all-telling podcast Call Her Daddy that working on the first season of the Max series was “terrible.” While the actress initially “hated going to work,” she expressed in a statement following her announced departure that she loves herself “10x more than [she] did before knowing her.” Rapp is set to reprise her role as Regina George in the film adaptation of the Mean Girls musical.