Erica Hahn, Grey’s Anatomy
Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) was a cardiothoracic surgeon at Seattle Grace Hospital, introduced in Season 2. After arriving at Seattle Grace she said that she “dates men” and Mark Sloan tried to flirt with her without any reciprocation. Erica started to become close to fellow doctor Callie Torres and the two became close friends. After Mark joked about the three of them engaging in a threesome, Erica asked whether the idea of her and Callie in a relationship would be intimidating to him and kissed her (4×15) to prove it.
Erica and Callie eventually confronted their feelings for each other and started dating (5×05). This led to Erica coming to the realization that she was gay. Erica was then abruptly written off the show in the middle of the fifth season and left Seattle Grace after getting into an argument with Callie (5×07).
Series creator Shonda Rhimes issued the statement that:
“Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. Clearly it’s not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show – Calliope Torres. Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke’s character would sustain in the long run. The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with ‘another lesbian.’ If you’ll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season.”
E! Online’s Kristin Dos Santos reported that Smith’s dismissal from the show was enforced by the ABC network, as part of an attempt to “de-gay” Grey’s Anatomy. She revealed that as well as writing out the character Erica Hahn, Grey’s Anatomy newcomer Melissa George would no longer be playing a bisexual character as announced. Brooke Smith, interviewed by Michael Ausiello, stated that:
“I found out in mid-September soon after shooting the monologue that aired last week where Erica has the revelation that she’s gay. They even came down and told me it was a great scene – one of the best they ever shot on the show. So I was really, really shocked. I was floored when they told me [I was being let go]. It was the last thing I expected. In fact, when they told me I asked, “When is this happening?” And they said, “The [next episode] is your last,” which is the one that airs this Thursday. So it was very sudden.”
Smith explained that the script for her final episode did not involve her character being written out, and that Erica’s final scene on the show is “just [her] heading to [her] car.” She agreed with the assessment that her dismissal originated from ABC and not Shonda Rhimes herself, stating: “it definitely seemed like [Shonda’s] hands were tied.”
Rhimes also said: “We didn’t have a controversy with Dr. Hahn. The press created a whole thing that had nothing to do with reality.”
- 25 episodes. Recurring character through Seasons 2 and 3, main cast in Seasons 4 and 5 (she only appeared until 5x07)
Female love interests:
- Callie Torres (Sara Ramírez, bisexual, regular)
Relationship story arc with a woman: Yes
No male love interests
Relationship story arc with a man: No, but referenced dating men in the past.
Male love interest after being identified as a lesbian? No
Filter Relationship Arc:
Storyline during sweeps? No
 A relationship story arc is defined as explicit, developed on screen, and lasting more than 3 episodes. It is listed as questionable or subtext if romance is only implied, mentioned instead of shown on screen, part of a dream sequence, or otherwise not explicit for the viewer.
 Sweeps episodes air in February, May, July and November, the periods when advertising rates are set. A character is marked as "sweeps" when there is a very limited number of episodes that address their sexuality, all air during sweeps period, and the storyline is otherwise ignore/dropped.