P-Valley will return to Starz in June. But when it does, it’ll be without one familiar face. As the network gears up for the return of the hit drama series, after a lengthy delay due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it has been confirmed that Isaiah Washington will not be reprising his role as Mayor Ruffin in P-Valley Season 2.
[Warning: This article contains a spoiler for P-Valley Season 2.]
Isaiah Washington has departed ‘P-Valley’ Season 2
Washington first announced his departure in December of 2021. Taking to Instagram, he alleged that he was fired by Lionsgate, which produces P-Valley, over something he said about Vice President Kamala Harris. The actor claimed this led to his character being killed off of the show, attaching a photo of Mayor Ruffin dead in a casket in an apparent scene from season 2.
“Lionsgate is on some bs. They fire me over my truthful comments about former Senator Kamala Harris, rehire me just to kill me off, and then use my name today to get all my fans to watch their show? Nah…I’m not feeling that ABCS Grey’s Anatomy bait and switch ish,” Washington wrote, referencing his ongoing drama with the ABC medical drama, from which he was dismissed in 2007.
“They all will hear from me very soon. Believe that! I’m Shango and I’m DONE,” he continued. “#PValley @lionsgate I See You.”
What he said about Harris exactly is unclear, and representatives for Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Katori Hall, the creator of ‘P-Valley,’ refuted his comments
Katori Hall, the creator of P-Valley, addressed his claims in a more recent interview. She was asked by Entertainment Weekly whether it was accurate that he was let go for the reasons he claimed. “No, actually. No,” she told the magazine.
“There are so many stories to tell with P-Valley, and every season we shift the story,” she continued. “In season 2, for me, it was really about embracing what is happening in our world today. Lionsgate had no say in how I wanted to write the show. They probably want more say! But they really supported me as a creator, as a writer, in terms of the stories I wanted to put out into the world. It’s unfortunate that that’s what he thinks, but that’s definitely not the case.”
As for how the show intends to move forward without him, Hall said his presence is still felt in season 2. “It’s interesting. He’s present without being super present,” she said. “What I mean by that is he’s present without being physically present. His godson, Andre Watkins, was part of the Promised Land Casino ploy to get the Pynk and take that over as waterfront property. So when Andre comes back to town, it’s because of Tydell Ruffin.”
“He comes back to be reconnected to the town beyond just working on some big old casino development project,” Hall explained. “And it’s Tydell who brings his godson back in, in an unexpected way. I would say that Ruffin’s presence looms large over Chucalissa, looms large in Andre’s life, and it’s one of the reasons why Chucalissa feels like it’s going to become Andre’s new home. It’s like the prodigal son returning home.”
Who else is in ‘P-Valley’ Season 2?
Though Washington won’t be back, many of your favorites are. This includes lead actors Elarica Johnson (Autumn), Brandee Evans (Mercedes), Nicco Annan (Uncle Clifford), Shannon Thornton (Keyshawn), Tyler Lepley (Diamond), and J. Alphonse Nicholson (Lil Murda). Parker Sawyers (Andre), Dan Johnson (Corbin), and Harriett D. Foy (Patrice) will also be back, among others.
Until then, find the first season of P-Valley now on Starz.