Why is Ashley Park Not in Girls5eva Season 3?

Girls5eva,’ a sitcom about a 90s girl group’s lives after their fame burned out, charts the band’s journey back up the hill of stardom as they attempt to resurrect their musical careers. After a famed rapper samples one of their old tunes in one of his hit songs, Girls5eva members Dawn, Wickie, Summer, and Gloria reunite and decide to bring the band back together. As such, the third season follows the women as they embark on a tour, jumping from city to city in search of a significant gig.

While the narrative explores each character and enhances their stories, fans may notice the stark absence of the fifth Girls5eva member, Ashley Gold. Considering the character’s appearance in previous seasons as well as continued inclusion in the title sequence, fans may wonder why Ashley Park, who embodies Ashley Gold’s character, is missing from the third season. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Ashley Gold’s Unsteady Predicament in Girls5eva

Despite being a part of the titular girl group, Ashley Gold maintains a tumultuous presence within the show from the start. In the pilot episode, viewers learn that Ashley, who once led the band during their glory days, died in 2004 in an infinity pool accident. Therefore, her character mostly leaves her mark upon the show in flashbacks to the 90s when the group initially found their stardom. Furthermore, her memory continues to be a motivational tool for the other characters to kindle their band decades after their success.

Still, even though Ashley remains dead throughout the show, Gloria floats the theory that she believes the woman may have faked her own death. As such, Ashley’s character— and subsequently actress Ashley Park— finds a way to appear in the second season while Gloria investigates her hypothesis. Nevertheless, the character is still confined to flashbacks. Eventually, Gloria’s suspicions turn out to be false, seemingly confirming the finality of Ashley’s death.

For the same reason, Ashley’s character is rarely mentioned in the third season. Thus, with this season, the show seems to conclude Ashley’s involvement with the story. Park, who was cast in the show after its inception, was initially thrilled to portray a former 90s girl group character, citing the project as a dream role. Nevertheless, she couldn’t be a full regular on ‘Girls5eva’ due to her involvement with ‘Emily in Paris,’ the popular Netflix show about an American woman’s adventures in the French city.

Park discussed the same in a New York Post interview and said, “I was in ‘Emily [in Paris’], and you can’t be a series regular on a bunch of shows. But I was so happy they found this part for me and even named her [Park’s character] Ashley!” Expanding upon her experience with the show’s filming, Park added, “‘Girls5eva’ was one of the first shows to start filming in New York during the pandemic, which made for a tightly regulated set. Usually, women like us would be hugging each other and hanging out, but the material was so fun, and the energy on set was great.”

Likewise, the show creator, Tina Fey, expressed her support for Park’s growing career and said, “It’s been a pleasure collaborating with Ashley and watching her blow up in TV and film because she is ready.” She added, “I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring for her.” Furthermore, the filmmaker continued her collaboration with Park in the 2024 musical film, ‘Mean Girls.’ Therefore, Park’s departure from ‘Girls5eva’ seems to be a natural progression in her career, with scheduling issues likely leading to her character’s complete absence from the third season.

Read More: Did Wickie and Sheawn Break Up in Girls5eva?