“I never, ever, ever – ever – want to let down the children. But I relate it to when I took time off after I had surgery for my endometriosis in 2018,” Emma explained to the publication of her choice to exit The Wiggles.
“I had two beautiful performers replace me on tour for a period of weeks. I felt terrible and kept thinking, how are we going to do this? But the children still came to the shows, because they love the music. That experience helped me make this decision because everyone was OK after that.”
Emma added that while she loved her time in the group, she initially faced backlash and “wasn’t really liked” when she was introduced as the group’s first female member, saying that many were “territorial about the original group.”
“It took about two or three years to actually have people accept that there was a female among the group; that was a massive deal back then,” she noted, adding, “So to then see how that changed over the decade, and children coming to the show dressed in beautiful Emma costumes, or wearing bows… it’s powerful.”
“We have a responsibility to introduce children to entertainment and I’m that vehicle. I’m really proud of that. It’s been so rewarding,” Emma continued.
“But the time away during COVID showed me that I gave The Wiggles everything.”
The 32-year-old revealed she would be exiting The Wiggles in an emotional post to social media last year.
"The time has come for me to pass the yellow skivvy on," she began.
"Like many people around the world, the pandemic has given me time to reflect on what is important in life. For me, that means spending more time at home, something that I didn't realise I was missing out on being away eight months of the year on tour, but something that I have really cherished over the last 18 months."
WATCH: Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins dons yellow for Endometriosis Awareness Month
She went on to share that she is looking forward to completing her PhD in film making and that she wants to continue her work with the deaf community.
"I am really looking forward to devoting more time and energy to focus on completing my PhD, which incorporates my passion for sign language, dance and film editing. And to have more time to work with the Deaf community," she said.
To sign off her announcement, Emma thanked The Wiggles for changing her life.
"I am eternally grateful to The Wiggles for giving me the amazing opportunity to be the first female Wiggle, a role that I have loved and one that has brought me so much joy and an abundance of bowtiful memories that I will treasure forever.
"As The Wiggles continue to evolve and someone new now steps into the yellow skivvy, I look forward to seeing children and families embrace them, just as I was when I began.
"I wish The Wiggles much-continued success."
Emma will be replaced by her new cast member Tsehay Hawkins, a champion dancer, who at just 16-years-old has nabbed the lucrative yellow skivvy.