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Alexis Bledel leaving 'The Handmaid's Tale' ahead of season five


LOS ANGELES:  Actor Alexis Bledel has announced her exit from the popular Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale".

Bledel, who featured in the dystopian drama series as Emily/Ofglen, will not be returning for the upcoming fifth season, the actor said in a statement to Variety.

"After much thought, I felt I had to step away from 'The Handmaid's Tale' at this time. I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support," the 40-year-old actor said.

Bledel has co-starred with series lead Elisabeth Moss since "The Handmaid's Tale" debuted on Hulu in 2017.

Based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel of the same name, the show is set around the dystopian country of Gilead where women are stripped of their rights and forced into sexual slavery.

It has been created, executive produced and written by Bruce Miller, and also stars Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley and Bradley Whitford.

Bledel has earned four Emmy nominations for her work as Emily/Ofglen on "The Handmaid's Tale", winning the Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a drama in 2017.

The actor is also known for her role as Rory Gilmore on "Gilmore Girls" and its revival, "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life", as well as "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" film franchise and "Mad Men" series.