'Euphoria' Star Not Returning to HBO Hit Series

Euphoria is losing a cast member ahead of its third season. Barbie Ferreira is leaving the hit HBO series before Season 3 starts filming. Ferreira, 25, stars as Kat Hernandez in the series, created by Sam Levinson. Her decision to leave comes months after an exposé on the series alleged that she clashed with Levinson as the second season saw her character go in another direction.

Late Wednesday, Ferreria shared a photo of artwork by her co-star Hunter Schafer. In her caption, she explained her decision to leave. "After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I'm having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye," she wrote. "I hope many of you could see yourself in her like I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today. I put all my care and love into her and I hope you guys could feel it. Love you."

Kat Hernandez was introduced as one of the central characters on Euphoria in Season 1, with her story of body positivity and a secret cam-girl life. In Season 2, she had much less screentime and Kat's story was limited to a breakup with her boyfriend. Before the Season 2 finale aired in late February, The Daily Beast published a behind-the-scenes expose, reporting that Ferreira and Levinson clashed. Production sources told the outlet that Ferreira walked off the set "at least two times. Sources also said there was a sex scene involving Ferreira that was cut from one episode.

The Daily Beast also reported that some members of the production grew frustrated with the 15- to 17-hour work days. Background actors allegedly made "multiple complaints" to SAG-AFTRA about the production not providing meals or letting them use the bathroom. However, HBO disputed allegations of a toxic workplace.

"The well-being of cast and crew on our productions is always a top priority," the network told Variety in March. "The production was in full compliance with all safety guidelines and guild protocols. It's not uncommon for drama series to have complex shoots, and COVID protocols add an additional layer. We maintain an open line of communication with all the guilds, including SAG-AFTRA. There were never any formal inquiries raised."

Ferreira also did not attend the Season 2 premiere. When The Cut asked her about the rumored clashes over her character's direction, she had a diplomatic answer. "Kat's journey this season is a little more internal and a little mysterious to the audience," she said. "She is secretly going through a lot of existential crises. She loses her marbles a little bit – just like everyone else in this season. The theme is everyone's gone a little crazy."

The actress also commented on the rumors in a statement to Insider in March. "What's interesting about this season is there are so many more eyes on it that even the news cycle has been so interesting to see," she said. "I've seen so many different things and a lot of it is untrue and some of it's kind of like mundane little things."

"But I really think that the fans are really passionate and I do appreciate that because Euphoria has really impacted so many people," Ferreira told Insider. "Sometimes, things take on a life of their own, and they're not rooted in the truth, but it's OK because I know it's just out of passion and out of curiosity and all that good stuff. And I signed up for it. So, I'll take it. I'll take the good and the bad."

HBO has not commented on Ferreira leaving the series. The network already renewed the show for a third season. Euphoria Season 2 earned 16 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series.