TVLine has confirmed that Chase and producers have come to a mutual agreement that finds the comedy vet departing the cult NBC series effective immediately. The sudden ouster means that he will not appear in one or two of Community‘s final Season 4 episodes, which have yet to be shot.
Our sister site Deadline first reported the news.
Because Community is shooting the end of its upcoming season out of sequence and production on the finale has already wrapped, Chase’s unlovable curmudgeon Pierce will likely appear in the season ender but not in the handful of installments leading up to it.
Chase’s exit is unsurprising given his tumultuous relationship with the still-benched sitcom. In early October, the actor found himself at the center of an on-set controversy when he dropped the N-word in the presence of his African-American co-stars Yvette Nicole Brown and Donald Glover.
He was also embroiled in a much-publicized battle with Community creator Dan Harmon at the end of last season, which, along with other alleged issues, ultimately led to the showrunner losing his job.
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Community, meanwhile, is slated to launch its long-delayed fourth season on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8/7c.
Will you miss Pierce Hawthorne — or Chevy Chase, for that matter? Hit the comments!