Thanks to Katori Hall, much of America has a new obsession. Since 2020, viewers have been traveling “down in the valley where the girls get naked,” aka “The Pynk.” The series, P-Valley, debuted on the STARZ network in July of 2020 and has since received much fanfare and critical acclaim. However, it appears that the show’s upcoming season will have some specific changes. Most notably, one of the main cast members, Elarica Johnson who plays ‘Autumn Night’ has announce her departure following the end of season two.
P-Valley officially introduced viewers to characters like Uncle Clifford, Mercedes, Patrice Woodbine, Uncle Murda, Keyshawn, and more. It is a show derived from the Katori Hall play P- Valley about the lives of adult dancers that work at the fictional strip club in Mississippi. The first season of P-Valley drew impressive ratings from viewers and critics. The series saw an increase in viewership each week for its eight episodes. The show also enjoyed receiving numerous accolades for the first season.
P-Valley became nominated for two TCA Awards, presented by the Television Critics Association. This included awards for Outstanding New Program and Outstanding Achievement in Drama. It was also recognized and nominated for a Black Reel Award, a GLAAD Media Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and six NAACP Image Awards. For the latter, actress Loretta Devine, who portrays Uncle Clifford’s grandmother Earnestine Sayles, won for Outstanding Guest Actor or Actress in a Television Series.
One of the show’s main characters was Hailey Colton, aka Autumn Night. While everyone else in the first season appeared to have somewhat of a relationship tying them to one another, she stood alone. Autumn Night came to Mississippi from another town, apparently escaping a dark past. Throughout the show, her character grew as fans discovered more and more layers. Eventually, fans begin to realize just what is troubling Autumn Night. They also witness the bonds created within the characters as they helped her successfully escape her past. Autumn Night also develops a close relationship with the well-educated Andre Watkins. Their relationship eventually becomes entangled and riddled with controversy.
Soon, Autumn Night comes into some money and power as she helps to save The Pynk. But as the second season arrives, she becomes somewhat of an antagonist to certain Pynk veterans as she takes on more of a boss role. Hailey Colton/Autumn Night’s role was effortlessly portrayed by British actress Elarica Johnson. It would become her breakthrough role. Prior to P-Valley, she had minor roles in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Blade Runner 2049. She also had a minor role in the first season of the British drama series Top Boy.
The second season of P-Valley was turned up on many levels. For one, each character’s stories brought fans more depth and discovery each week. This included Elarica Johnson’s role, who no longer stripped but was now running things. But in the season finale, we witness that much of Autumn Night’s plans didn’t come to fruition. Instead of the multi-millions she was gunning for, Autumn Night received $250K from Uncle Clifford and was told to leave. But unfortunately, she was also sideswiped by the woman with whom she attempted to make a deal for The Pynk.
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Autumn Night appeared to always have plans to leave Chuculisa, the Mississippi City where the strip club is located. However, it was eventually revealed that she emptied Uncle Clifford’s accounts in return as the scene diverts to her, seemingly long gone. In addition, we also find out that she is pregnant with what appears to be Andre’s twins. But suppose fans had questions about what her somewhat successful departure from Chuculisa meant for the future of P-Valley. In that case, there is no longer a need for them. Elarica Johnson announced recently that not only did she leave The Pynk and its hometown, but she has also left the series.
Elarica Johnson shared the heartbreaking news with her fans on her social media pages. She expressed that she is “proud” to have been a part of the groundbreaking show in its 3-year existence. In further conversation with Entertainment Weekly, she detailed her reasons for her departure. Johnson shared that it was her decision after reading this past season’s scripts. She states that her character did “what she needed to do” at the Pynk, “and it was time for her to move on.”