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Is Taye Diggs leaving All American? (What happened to Billy Baker?)

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Caution: There are major spoilers from All American Season 5, Episode 11 in this post.

Every now and then, a TV show will shock us with an exit. All American Season 5 has shocked us with Taye Diggs leaving the show.

All American did not hold back at the end of Season 5, Episode 11. Billy was on his way to a game with the high school students at Crenshaw, only for the bus to crash. Things looked fine at first. Everyone was out, and it was just about waiting for the first responders to get there.

That’s where it all went south. While Spencer listened to a voicemail, Grace and Jordan returned with some devastating news. Billy had died.

Everything happened off-screen. We know Billy went back into the bus for a student and the bus was teetering on the edge of a cliff. It sounds like the bus went over the edge, killing Billy. And yes, while the death happened off-screen, it’s been confirmed as actually happening.

Why is Taye Diggs leaving All American?

What’s going on? It’s not like the show was going to just write out a major player, was it? Taye Diggs is a reason a lot of people started watching the show in the first place.

Well, it turns out it wasn’t a creative decision for the sake of being creative. Taye Diggs felt it was time for him to leave the series according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, and showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll respected that. She found a way to write him out in a way that would have a huge effect on the characters (and the fans!).

You see, Billy and Spencer had been struggling with communication and their feelings in the last few episodes. Billy left a voicemail to say that Spencer had been right all along, but he wanted to coach Spencer one last time. They had all the time in the world to figure things out. Except, now they don’t. Spencer has to move forward without any real closure with Billy, and that’s the way of life a lot of times, right?

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What did you think of Billy’s exit? What do you hope to see next for the characters? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

All American* airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW in the U.S. and on Showcase in Canada.