American Housewife star Carly Hughes has been missing from the show since the Season 5 premiere aired late last month because she has left the series. Hughes, who played Angela for the show's first four seasons, told Deadline there was a "toxic environment" at the production. Hughes' allegations and claims from others led to a human resources investigation by ABC Signature, which resulted in creator Sarah Dunn no longer having an active role in the series. Line producer Mark J. Greenberg left and showrunners Kenny Schwarz had sensitivity training.
Hughes was the only Black series regular on the sitcom, which stars Katy Mixon and Diedrich Bader. She was featured in the Season 5 premiere, which was mostly filmed before the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns in March. From Episode 2 onwards, her name disappeared in the opening credits. In a statement to Deadline, Hughes said she was "no longer able to work in the toxic environment" at the show.
"I made the decision to leave to protect myself from that type of discrimination," Hughes continued. "As a Black woman in entertainment, I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve — to be treated equally. I wish the show well, and I am excited for a new chapter and to be able to pursue the opportunities ahead."
A spokesperson for the series called Hughes a "valued member of the cast" and they hoped she would come back for the fifth season. "The concerns she raised led to positive changes to the workplace and improvements to the culture, but we respect the decision she made to move on," the show continued. "We wish her nothing but the best."
American Housewife launched on ABC in 2016 and was created by Dunn, a former writer on Spin City and Bunheads. The series also saw Julia Butters, who played Mixon and Bader's youngest on-screen daughter, leave the series after her breakout movie performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The role was recast with Giselle Eisenberg taking over. Holly Robinson Pete joined the show to play one of Mixon's friends in a recurring role. The show's main cast also includes Meg Donnelly, Daniel DiMaggio, and Ali Wong.
Hughes will next be seen in Lifetime's The Christmas Edition, which debuts on Nov. 15. She also starred in Netflix's Insatiable. Hughes has also starred on Broadway, appearing in Chicago, Pippin, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.