When word broke at the end of last week that The CW's Black Lightning was ending its run after four seasons, fans weren't the only ones who were hearing the news for the first time that day. China Anne McClain aka Jennifer Pierce aka Lightning also found out the news on Friday, and on the following day, she made some news of her own: McClain wasn't coming back for the series even if it was given a green light for a fifth season.
Taking to Instagram, McClain made the reveal along with the news that the cast was aware of her intentions to leave even before work on the series began. "What I did know and have known along with the rest of the cast since before we even started shooting this season is that I am leaving the show. And was leaving the show," McClain says in the video. "This was going to be my last season." The actor also revealed that her contract for the fourth season is a limited one, so Lightning is expected to have far less of a presence during the show's final run.
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McClain also looked to put to rest any rumors or speculation regarding her reasons for leaving the series early. "I'm not leaving because I had a terrible time working at The CW," she explains. "I like the CW. I like [CW President] Mark Pedowitz, I like [Warner Bros. president] Peter Roth, [EP] Greg Berlanti, I love [showrunner] Salim [Akil], I always will. He gets it. And people that actually know me… they know why I make the decisions that I make." McClain also went on to urge those watching to give the backdoor pilot for Jordan Calloway's Painkiller spinoff (expected to be the seventh episode of the season) their love and support
As for why she was making the decision to leave, McClain would not offer specifics but did say that her decision was impacted by what she's experienced during quarantine times. "There's been a lot to happen over this quarantine, and I'm not talking about the PC side of it," she revealed. "God is moving me in more than one way than just this show. It's bigger than this show. I'm doing God's work now… and I'm not doing anything else."