Taye Diggs attends Peacock’s “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” premiere event at Hollywood Athletic Club on December 07, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
*Fans of “All American” were left shocked during Monday night’s episode when Taye Diggs’ character Billy Baker was killed off the series.
Coach Baker died while trying to rescue an injured student on a school bus after a tire blowout caused the bus to crash. The Feb. 13 episode of the CW football drama did not show the specific details of his death — but the plot twist certainly sent fans into a frenzy on social media.
Diggs spoke to TVLine about when he made the decision to exit the show. “It was just a feeling that I got [that I was ready to leave], and I just honored that feeling,” he said.
“It was maybe mid-fourth season. I don’t even remember, to be honest, because the showrunner [Nkechi Okoro Carroll] and myself are close,” he continued. “We’d been keeping in contact, so she had known, and we’d been talking. And we decided how to go about it, and storylines and whatnot, so it was all above board, and everyone was in the know.”
As Urban Hollywood 411 reports, “All American” fans expressed their disappointment on Twitter.
“I need a moment with the writers of ‘All American’ because how do you kill off Billy Baker?!? THEE BILLY BAKER,” another person posted on Twitter.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to enjoy @CWAllAmerican the same way without @TayeDiggs as Billy Baker. It truly just brought tears to my eyes man,” another person tweeted.
“What the hell? I had no idea #Tayediggs was leaving #AllAmerican billy & spencer made the show, what is a girl to do now I watched the show because of the relationship they shared as African American men,” someone else tweeted.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Diggs said, “It has been an honor to work with Taye over these last five seasons and to watch him bring such incredible life to the role of Billy Baker.”
He continued, “It has truly been a gift for me and my fellow writers to write a character that was equally flawed and heroic. Billy was all of us and what a joy it was to watch this character grow as he raised his kids and his football players as one big family.
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