'Catfish' Co-Host Nev Schulman Addresses Max Joseph‘s Departure

Catfish fans were heartbroken Wednesday when co-host Max Joseph announced his departure from the hit MTV series after seven seasons.

The 36-year-old told fans that although he's sad to leave the show, he's excited to pursue his dream of filmmaking. Joseph's co-host Nev Schulman, who coined the term "catfish" for his documentary of the same name that set the series in motion, took to Twitter Wednesday with a lengthy statement about the departure.

"Well my grey-haired friend, MJ Snores, Mr. won't touch a hotel blanket to his bare skin, it looks like you've ridden your last Holiday Inn Express elliptical for awhile. I'm gonna miss you," Schulman wrote.

"Working with Max on 'Catfish' has been a blast. What started as a casual friendship quickly turned into a brotherhood. Over the last six years I've learned as much about the internet and society as I have about myself, Max being there and helping me through every step of the way," Schulman wrote. "In that sense, Max isn't just a co-host, he's a partner, therapist and brother. His ability to listen, empathize and advise is astounding and has made me a better man. Nobody cuts through the noise and dishes the hard truth better than he does."

He continued, "I'm going to miss him a lot. He's my best friend. Period. And of course one of the best colleagues anyone could hope for. As sad as I am that Max is leaving the show, it brings me great joy to know that he is following his heart. While selfishly I'd love to keep him all to myself, the world needs more passionate, creative people and we'll all benefit from his work to come."

Schulman ended his statement by plugging Joseph's website and wishing him luck. "If you don't already know about Max's amazing projects as a filmmaker, check out his website maxjoseph.com. Good luck my friend...and no excuses for not facetiming in from time to time. I know your front-facing camera works. Love you brother."

Joseph also called Schulman his brother in his own statement. "Nev and I have become brothers and our bromance has blossomed before your eyes," he wrote, in part.

"For a while now I have been straddling two careers as TV host and filmmaker and, while this level of busy-ness is a dream come true, my life can no longer sustain it," he added. "With Catfish still going strong after 7 seasons, 115 episodes, 31 specials and showing no sign of slowing down, I feel it is finally the time for me to make my exit. Although I have a heavy heart, I am also excited for everything that's to come for myself, for Nev, for our crew and for the show. Thank you for watching, thank you for the love and for the memes."

Back in December, around the time of Catfish's 100th episode milestone, Joseph told PEOPLE that the show affected his life "irreversibly."

"One hundred episodes means a lot of flights and it means a lot of Hilton Garden Inns," he said. "It means a lot of emotional ups and downs and being in people's living rooms and on weird couches and listening to people's stories and kind of embedding ourselves in the lives of many different Americans. We're mostly interacting with people in their late teens, early to mid-20s. But along the way, we’re seeing everything in between, and it’s been a real eye-opener, socially and politically. It's definitely affected me irreversibly."

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The exit comes more than a month since MTV resumed production on the series after Schulman was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman who was on the series. He denied the allegations and an internal investigation found them "not credible and without merit."

Catfish airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV. Joseph's last episode will air Aug. 22.