Ellen Pompeo is not here for anyone’s BS, she would like to make that clear.
Just a few hours after news broke that two of her long-time co-stars on Grey’s Anatomy would not be returning for Season 15, the series lead has broken her silence.
Has she wished the best to Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw, both of whom were let go for creative reasons by ABC?
In private, we have no doubt.
In public, however, Pompeo jumped on Twitter last night to call out a report that blamed her for these actresses getting fired.
How did this claim even come about?
In January, Pompeo signed a two-year deal with Grey’s Anatomy, worth over $ 20 million.
Deadline then ran an article yesterday that strongly implied this impacted the show’s budget in such a way that fellow stars had to be cut, writing:
“The decision not to bring back Capshaw and Drew comes on the heels of the blockbuster new Pompeo pact that gave her a significant salary increase, paying her as much as $ 20 million a year.”
The 48-year old actress was quick to respond to this allegation.
“I’m a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don’t fall into that trap,” she wrote on Twitter, adding of the decision to dismiss Capshaw and Drew:
“This is above my pay grade.”
She also found it ironic, and very irritating, that this report came out on International Women’s Day, also Tweeting in response:
“Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against each other on #InternationalWomensDay #shameonyounotme.”
Drew played Dr. April Kepner on Grey’s Anatomy for nine seasons; Capshaw came on board a decade ago as Dr. Arizona Robbins.
Both women have released statements (below) of remorse and gratitude in light of their unwanted career moves.
The show’s co-showrunner, Krista Vernoff, also shared a lengthy statement defending Pompeo against the publication.
She Tweeted the following on Thursday evening:
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.
Vernoff had previously said of Drew and Capshaw:
“It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.”
As for Drew and Capshaw’s mature responses to their firings, the former wrote this upon learning the news:
Thank you for all of the love. I know you’re sad. I’m sad too. I haven’t really had the time to process this information.
I’ve been with it for less than 48 hours, so I’m not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later.
For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet. And the really good news (for me, at least) is that I’m here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey’s family all this week and next, so I get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade.
For that, I am grateful.
And here is Capshaw’s similarly emotional statement:
For the past ten years I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins but also being madly in love with playing her.
Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job.
She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a seres regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever.
I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me.
I am sad to see her go but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda [Rhimes], thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster.
Everyone associated with the show (from fans to crew members) agrees that this news is far from ideal, but it’s silly and ignorant to blame Pompeo for it.
(Also worth noting: ABC has not even renewed Grey’s Anatomy beyond this season.)
Always a thoughtful person, we’ll let actor Jesse Williams have the final word for now:
Sarah and Jessica are easily among my very favorite people and coworkers, so this news fuckin sucks.
Their immense talent speaks for itself but it’s them as people that I’m so grateful to know, privileged to have worked with and learned from.
To say they’ll be missed is a massive understatement. Luckily for all of us, we’ll get to see these artists continue bringing compelling and complex characters to life for many moons to come! #OurWorkIsForever
Williams’ character of Jackson was married to Drew’s April Kepner and the two had a baby named Harriet together.
No details have been revealed about how both characters will be written off the series.
But they’ll be missed. Greatly.