Chase, who played millionaire Pierce Hawthorne since the show's premiere in 2009, has amicably parted ways with the show effective immediately, as first reported by Deadline. Community's fourth season still has at least one more episode to shoot, in which Chase will not appear.
The 69-year-old actor has had a rough relationship with the NBC comedy, once calling his participation in the series a "big mistake." "I think the reason I have stuck around is because I love these kids, the cast - they are very good. It's not like I am working with the great innovators of all time, but at the same time, they are my friends."
That wasn't the first time Chase has stirred up controversy about the show. His previous feud with fired showrunner Dan Harmon resulted in Harmon cursing at Chase during the show's wrap party and putting angry voicemails from the actor on public display.
This season, production on the sitcom was briefly shut down after Chase dropped the N-word on set after becoming increasingly frustrated with the direction of his bigoted character. Though his African-American co-stars Yvette Nicole Brown and Donald Glover were with him at the time, the epithet wasn't directed at either actor or at any person in particular. Nevertheless, production was temporarily halted until Chase formally apologized to the cast and crew.
A source says it's unclear whether Chase's departure will be addressed on the series.
Community is slated to return Thursday, Feb. 7 on NBC.
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