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Jennifer Morrison to depart 'Once Upon a Time'

"After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on," the actress said.

By Annie Martin
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Jennifer Morrison to depart 'Once Upon a Time'
Jennifer Morrison attends the "Taxi Driver" 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21. The actress plays Emma Swan on "Once Upon a Time." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 8 (UPI) -- Jennifer Morrison will depart Once Upon a Time after six seasons with the fantasy drama.

The 38-year-old actress, who plays Emma Swan on the ABC series, announced in an Instagram post Monday that she's leaving the show after Season 6.

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"As I reached the end of my 6-year contract on ONCE UPON A TIME, I was faced with a significant decision," Morrison told her 1.3 million followers. "After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on."

"Emma Swan is one of my favorite characters that I have ever played," she said. "My 6 years on ONCE UPON A TIME has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show.

"As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward to meeting the fans. If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch ONCE UPON A TIME," the star assured fans.

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Once Upon a Time will air its Season 6 finale May 14, and has yet to be renewed for a seventh season. Executive producer Edward Kitsis told Entertainment Weekly this month that the finale will provide closure in case the series isn't picked up for Season 7.

"What I would say for fans is it will be complete, so they will not have any dangling threads that they're like, 'I can't believe [it]!'" he said. "We're not going for a crazy ending that everyone goes, 'Well, what did that mean? I feel unsatisfied.'"

"We understand that this could be the last year," Kitsis explained. "We feel like we completed this story and the next chapter of Once Upon a Time will be completely different."

As I reached the end of my 6 year contract on ONCE UPON A TIME, I was faced with a significant decision. ABC, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz very generously invited me to continue as a series regular. After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on. Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My 6 years on ONCE UPON A TIME has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show. I will be forever grateful to Adam, Eddy, and ABC for giving me the gift of playing Emma Swan. As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward meeting the fans. If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch ONCE UPON A TIME. The creativity of the show runners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show. #Onceuponatime #EmmaSwan #UglyDucklings

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A post shared by jenmorrisonlive (@jenmorrisonlive) on

Once Upon a Time premiered in 2011, and co-stars Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parilla, Josh Dallas, Jared S. Gilmore and Robert Carlyle. The show takes place in the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine, where several fairy tale characters reside.

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