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Grey’s Anatomy: Have Fans Actually Enacted a Boycott?

At this point in the nearly 14-season run of Grey’s Anatomy, you’d think fans would be used to cast turnover.

Over the years, viewers have been forced to say goodbye to such series regulars as Katherine Heigl, Isaiah Washington, Sandra Oh, T.R. Knight, Eric Dane and Patrick Dempsey.

Just to name a few.

Last week, however, producers confirmed that neither Sarah Drew nor Jessica Capshaw would return for Season 15, prompting some major outrage from loyal Grey’s supporters.

The former has portrayed Dr. April Kepner for nine years and the latter Dr. Arizona Robbins for a decade.

“The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew,” wrote executive producer Krista Vernoff upon announcing this stunning news.

She continued at the time:

“As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go, and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love.

“It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.”

Both stars released statements in the wake of their dismissals, each handling the decision with grace and maturity.

But not all viewers have reacted the same way.

Last Thursday’s installment of Grey’s Anatomy, for example, earned a series low rating.

Last night’s installment of the drama, meanwhile, ticked up a slight bit… but was still a significant drop from previous outings this season and last season.

Does this mean the push for a boycott from a handful of fans on social media is working?

At one point over the past several days, the hashtag “#BoycottGreys went viral, as fans came together to protest yet another example of cast upheaveal on this long-running program.

Moreover, many of these same critics believe Ellen Pompeo is actually to blame for her co-stars getting the boot.

The show’s lead signed a new $ 20 million contract in January, prompting some folks out there to think no money was leftover for Drew and Capshaw.

There’s no evidence of this, of course.

ABC has said the stars were being let go for “creative reasons,” while Pompeo wasted no time at all shooting down this rude and unfair chatter.

“Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against each other on #InternationalWomensDay #shameonyounotme,” Tweeted Pompeo a week ago, addressing a website that implied Pompeo’s salary was related to Drew and Capshaw’s fate.

Vernoff was similarly upset over this insinuation.

Wrote the producer on Twitter:

The suggestion … that our cast changes are in any way related to Ellen Pompeo‘s salary renegotiation is wrong and hurtful and misguided.

It smacks of an old, broken, patriarchal notion that women must be pitted against each other and that one woman’s success will be costly to others.

Ellen Pompeo has not only advocated passionately for her fellow cast members, she has taken the time to educate women worldwide as to how to advocate for themselves and that must not now be twisted.

The real question in the wake of this ratings drop, of course, is this:

Will ABC actually renew Grey’s Anatomy for Season 15?

It has not done so yet.

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