Renée Rapp to exit The Sex Lives of College Girls in season three

Renée Rapp confirms exit from Sex Lives of College Girls during season three.

Renée Rapp, who plays lesbian icon Leighton Murray in The Sex Lives of College Girls, has confirmed that she will depart the Max comedy drama in its upcoming third season.

Mindy Kaling’s hit series The Sex Lives of College Girls follows the trials and tribulations of four fictional Essex College students: book-smart Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), sex-positive Bela (Amrit Kaur), star athlete Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) and, of course, wealthy legacy student and sapphic queen Leighton (Renée Rapp).

Over two seasons, Leighton’s journey of self-discovery as a closeted lesbian trying to live up to her mother’s high expectations has cultivated a devoted queer fanbase. But audience theories on how Leighton’s drama-filled love life will develop in season three will have to be put on hold, as 23-year-old Rapp has delivered disappointing news about Leighton’s future.

Deadline broke the news on Monday (10 July) that Rapp will be demoted from series regular in season three and will depart the show for good after just a handful of episodes.

Rapp then took to social media to address the announcement by offering her gratitude to Max and the show creators for allowing her to play an unapologetically “queer” role for the past “two and a half years”.

College Girls moved me out to LA and introduced me to some of my favourite people,’ the bisexual star wrote in her message to fans. “Two and a half years later – it’s given me y’all and this community. Thank you Mindy, [co-creator] Justin [Noble] and everyone at Max for believing in me.

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“A lot of queer work gets belittled but playing Leighton has changed my life. I love who I am 10x more than I did before knowing her. I hope she gave y’all a little bit of that too. She’s such a tiny part of representation but even the tiny parts count.

“I wouldn’t be half the person I am without her and y’all. I love that b***h more than you know. I’m so excited for this season and I can’t wait for you to see what we have coming for her and the girls.”

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While there is no official word on what prompted Rapp’s departure from the show, the singer and actor will now be able to focus on their burgeoning music career. After a successful stint as Regina George in Broadway’s Mean Girls – a role she’ll reprise in the upcoming big screen adaption – she released their debut EP Everything to Everyone in 2022.

Rapp dropped her new single “Snow Angel” on 9 June in anticipation of her debut album of the same name dropping on 18 August. She will then embark on her Snow Hard Feelings Tour across the US and Europe in September.

Mindy Kaling (L) and Justin Noble (R) address Renée Rapp's exit on Instagram story.
Mindy Kaling (L) and Justin Noble (R) address Renée Rapp’s exit on Instagram Story. (Instagram/@mindykaling/@thejustinnoble)

The Sex Lives of College Girls‘ co-creator Mindy Kaling addressed Rapp’s departure on her Instagram Story, reposting the Deadline headline with the caption: “We love Renée Rapp so much and of course will be so sad to say goodbye Leighton Murray. But we can’t wait to see our friend on tour.”

Co-creator Justin Noble wrote on his own Instagram Story: “I remember so vividly when Mindy Kaling and I started talking about Leighton Murray and the journey we wanted for this character.

“And how when we saw Renée Rapp’s audition, it barely took two minutes for us to immediately know she was the one. I’m so proud of her story and how Renée Rapp brought her to life with such nuanced and real and funny and award-winning performance – and we will miss both Renée and Leighton.”

News of Rapp’s departure – which comes amid filming for season three, has also hit fans hard, with many people taking to social media to share their despair at Rapp’s exit.

“RENEE RAPP DON’T DO THIS DON’T DO THIS TO ME PLEASE”, wrote one despondent viewer.

Other expressed their support for Rapp as she gears up to release more music.

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“i have to stand by renee rapp like have y’all listening to her album?! college can wait im afraid”, wrote one fan on Twitter.

Season one and two of The Sex Lives of College Girls are available to stream on Max. There is currently no confirmed release date for season three.

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