'The Resident': Why Did Shaunette Renée Wilson Leave As Dr. Mina Okafor?

The Resident team have lost one of their own, with Season 4, Episode 10 of the Fox show seeing Dr. Mina Okafor (played by Shaunette Renée Wilson) leaving to go back to her native Nigeria as her visa expires.

In the most recent episode, titled "Into the Unknown" and streaming now on Hulu, Mina had intended to leave the U.S. with boyfriend Dr. AJ Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), who then had to stay in America after he learned his mother had stage four lung cancer.

Why Did Shaunette Renée Wilson Leave As Dr. Mina Okafor on The Resident?

Rather than being written off by the writers, Wilson asked to leave the show at the start of The Resident Season 4, having appeared on the Fox medical drama since its pilot.

Writing on Twitter, the actor said: "After deeply thoughtful reflection, I approached the producers some time ago asking to leave the show and they agreed—and gave my character a wonderful sendoff.

"I am appreciative of them for allowing me to embody as beautiful of a soul as Dr. Mina Okafor. I would also like to thank the studio, network, cast, crew and, most of all, the wonderfully dedicated fans of The Resident for their support over the last four seasons."

mina the resident
Shaunette Renée Wilson as Dr. Mina Okafor on 'The Resident.' Fox

Per co-showrunner Andrew Chapman, she asked to leave at the top of the season. He told TV Line: "We knew from pretty much the beginning of the season that Shaunette wanted to exit the show, and that she was going to be allowed to exit the show. We were heartbroken.

"We love Shaunette, we love the Mina character, we feel like the character of Mina is so baked into the DNA of the show, and she was such a foundational member of the cast—that strong, truth-telling character is so important. But it is what it is, and people move on, so we knew from the beginning that we were going to have to figure out a way to exit her."

This early start allowed them to build to her exit across the 10 episodes of Season 4. These episodes have seen Dr. Barrett Cain (Morris Chestnut) try to get her deported after realizing she was going to testify against him in a medical malpractice suit. She eventually decided to leave herself, as that way the option remained for her to return to the U.S. in the future.

Chapman said that the character could return in the future if the actor wants to bring her back. He told TV Insider: "We made it super clear to Shaunette that we love her and if she decides that she wants to come back to The Resident, the door's open."

So far, Wilson's first post-Resident role has not been announced. The former Billions actor, however, previously appeared in Black Panther, the sequel of which begins shooting in July 2021.

With Mina gone, the show is setting up a big confrontation between AJ, who has just lost the love of his life, and Cain, who contributed to her having to leave.

Per Chapman, this will play out across the remaining episodes of Season 4. He told Entertainment Weekly: "There's also the situation left in the wake of Mina's departure and the role Cain played in that. This will be a huge thing, and we're going to play out all of that.

"That relationship between Cain and AJ is going to be simmering moving forward and it blows up in episode 14. Our season finale is really going to rock it."

The Resident Season 4 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on Fox.