Modern Family fans probably know that actress Sarah Hyland, who plays Haley, has battled with her health for most of her time on the show. In the past, that's lead to some absences for her character.
So people didn't really question it at first when Haley wasn't around as much this season. After the character being totally absent for four episodes, though, people started asking questions.
Was her health taking another turn for the worse? Was everything okay? This is the last season, she should totally be there as much as possible, right?
Eventually someone took to Twitter to just ask her directly...
That's when things got awkward.
So, good news is her health seems to be perfectly fine. She's not out with another trip to the hospital, her mental and emotional well-being seem sound. It's all good in Sarah's 'hood.
That brings us to the bad news. Sarah doesn't know why her character has gone MIA any more than the fans do. The character did have twins last season, and being a new parent can absolutely mean some days you just aren't around because you're busy with them - but considering the entire show is about family life you think they'd just show that instead of letting the character disappear.
Check out Sarah's response when someone tweeted asking about it:
It's funny how one little shrug emoji (and the word "apparently") take this tweet from perfectly innocent to sublimely shady. You noticed it, we noticed it, and Twitter definitely noticed it.
People had no problem sharing their thoughts about her character's absence and what might be driving it:
If Sarah's response seemed a bit "pointed" there was good reason for it. It's not like the writers left her character out of episodes where nothing major happened. In fact, in one of those Sarah-less episodes, the character's grandfather passes away and there is a memorial service and family gathering in the home.
But no Haley.
So Haley didn't get invited to her grandfather's funeral? Did she just not go? Was she conveniently "in the other room" for every shot?
Again, people noticed:
And to add insult to injury on that one, nobody even told Sarah that the character was going to die. She found out the same way the fans did, by watching the show.
See, Sarah doesn't read the scripts she isn't in. That way, her performances are more authentic since she doesn't know what her character doesn't know. Major plot points like a death, though, wouldn't be something her character could avoid knowing. Certainly someone could have passed that information along to Sarah?
She confirmed this wasn't a "Sarah is booked/too busy/sick/whatever and she can't shoot so let's just do the funeral without her" situation. Sarah didn't ask not to be involved in such a major plot point in the show.
They just didn't include her character in her grandfather's funeral. Almost like there's family beef and Haley didn't get invited to see Grandpa Frank off. Like we said... awkward.
She talked about it briefly in an Instagram video just after she watched the show and found out about the death:
I guess I should have put a spoiler alert for Grandpa Frank dying, but I was just caught off-guard. As his granddaughter, you'd think I'd be invited to the funeral.
Is there shade being flung around? We can't say for sure, it's pretty subtle; stealth shade, if you will. But we can absolutely say that if there is, there seems to be good reason for it.