Barbie Ferreira as Kat Hernandez in Euphoria Season 2 (Photograph by Eddy Chen/HBO)

Barbie Ferreira has just announced that she will not be returning to HBO’s hit prestige drama Euphoria for season 3. The actress, who has portrayed Kat Hernandez on the acclaimed series since its start in 2019, confirmed her departure in an Instagram post.

Ferreira shared an image of a sketch by Euphoria costar Hunter Schafer on her Instagram Stories writing, “After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye. I hope many of you could see yourself in her like I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today. I put all my care and love into her, and I hope you guys could feel it. Love you, Katherine Hernandez.”

Credit: Instagram

Kat, who is best friends with Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie) and Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), became a symbol of body positivity in the series’ debut season. Though she began the show as an insecure teen uncomfortable in her skin, Kat eventually embraced her sexuality and physicality, by adding an edgy twist to her style and by becoming a dominatrix cam girl.

Euphoria Season 1 (Photograph by Eddy Chen/HBO)

Kat’s storyline and screen time was dialed back significantly in season 2, leading viewers to wonder why. In the last season viewers saw Kat struggle with the pressure to maintain a certain level of “self-love” (remember her dream when she was being chased by influencers on social media?). She felt stifled in her relationship with Ethan, and had to cope with her two best friends Maddy and Cassie going at each other’s throats over Nate Jacobs.

There were also reports of a behind-the-scenes feud between Ferreira and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. The Daily Beast published a story in February that even cited the actress allegedly walking off set due to creative differences and some of her scenes being cut.

Barbie Ferreira Kat
Barbie Ferreira as Kat Hernandez in Euphoria Season 2 (Eddy Chen/HBO)

The rumor mill theorized the friction either had to do with the show’s gratuitous nudity, or the fact that some actors filed complaints with SAG-AFTRA in regard to excessively long shoots with minimal meal and/or bathroom breaks.

Responding to the wide-spread speculation, Ferreira sat down with Insider in March to set the record straight. “I’ve seen so many different things and a lot of it is untrue,” Ferreira told the publication. “I really think that the fans are really passionate, and I do appreciate that because Euphoria has really impacted so many people. Sometimes, things take on a life of their own, and they’re not rooted in the truth, but it’s okay because I know it’s just out of passion and out of curiosity and all that good stuff. And I signed up for it. So, I’ll take it. I’ll take the good and the bad.”

Barbie Ferreira as Kat Hernandez in Euphoria Season 1 (Photograph by Eddy Chen/HBO)

Her character was supposed to enter her senior year in season 3, which leaves us wondering what East Highland looks like without Kat. We’re not exactly left with any cliff-hangers after she had ended things with Ethan, and Kat’s friend group was split after Cassie started spending more time with Nate. However, Ferreira previously shared her hopes for season 3 back in March after the series had been picked up for another season.

“I hope to see her relationship with herself, the internet, with her friends,” the actress told Insider in the same interview. “I hope to see everything beautifully devolve as it always does on Euphoria. I’m excited to read it. I don’t think it’s written yet, so I’ll be waiting.”

Aside from Euphoria, Ferreira has recently starred in HBO’s Divorce, the 2020 film Unpregnant, Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror Nope, with a guest appearance on Apple TV+’s The Afterparty.