Ellen Pompeo Says “Grey’s Anatomy” Was A “Disaster Behind The Scenes”

Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running medical drama on television, and there’s an idea that the cast and crew have always been one big happy family. After all, how can you not be when you’ve been working together for 15 years?

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But, Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, spoke with Variety as part of their “Actors on Actors” series, and admitted that there were “many moments” where she wants to quit the show because of how awful the behind-the-scenes culture was.

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“It’s funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off,” she said of leaving the show. “The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment. But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family.”

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Pompeo said that because she had kids, that’s what kept her going. It wasn’t until later on in the series that things started to change for the better.

“At 40 years old, where am I ever going to get this kind of money?” she continued. “I need to take care of my kids. But after season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera.”

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The actress then continued, saying that instead of leaving the show, she decided to do her best to change the culture on set. It was too important to fix the problem.

“It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years,” she said. “My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes.”

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Pompeo pointed to creator Shonda Rhimes as a big reason as to why there was a shift, especially for the women on the set.

“I now have three kids. And we turned the culture around,” she continued. “I’ve hit some marks that have made me feel accomplished in a different way. Shonda Rhimes has been amazing. She lets us be mothers. I don’t have to travel. I don’t have to go anywhere.”

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When Patrick Dempsey left Grey’s Anatomy, Rhimes and Pompeo decided to “rewrite the ending” of that storyline, because the network didn’t think the show would survive without Dempsey’s character.

“That’s what’s kept me,” she said. “Patrick Dempsey left the show in season 11, and the studio and network believed the show could not go on without the male lead. So I had a mission to prove that it could. I was on a double mission.”

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Pompeo also spoke of the pay discrepancy between her and Dempsey, despite them having the same ranking on the show. At the beginning, Dempsey was making “almost double” what Pompeo was even though she’s the title character.

“He had a television quote. I had never done TV. ‘He’s done 13 pilots.’ Well, none of them have gone,” she said. “I didn’t even realize until we were renegotiating season 3. No one was offering that up.”

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Now, Pompeo makes a reported $575,000 per episode, in addition to a seven-figure signing bonus. She’s encouraging women to speak out about inequity in the workplace.

“My husband says, ‘Closed mouths don’t get fed,’ ” she said. “But if you have to walk, don’t be a victim. If you don’t get what you want, put your big-girl panties on …You can know your worth, but if they don’t know it, you can’t cry.”

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Even though the atmosphere on the show has improved, Pompeo says she “hasn’t been challenged creatively at all” recently.

“Every once in a while we do an amazing storyline,” she said. “But for the last five years, I’ve had other milestones that we were trying to achieve behind the camera.”

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It’s always interesting to hear behind-the-scenes stories about our favorite TV shows, because it reminds us that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

What do you think of Pompeo’s comments?

Everything You Need To Know About Kelly Ripa’s Feud With The Bachelor Franchise

This week on the most dramatic episode of Live With Kelly And Ryan yet, Kelly Ripa expresses her thoughts about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

On Tuesday’s episode of Live With Kelly And Ryan, Kelly Ripa let her feelings be known when Ryan Seacrest mentioned that the newest bachelorette, Hannah Brown, would be on the show later this week.

This introduction caused Kelly to respond with the following, ““You know how I feel about this show. It disgusts me. I thought that I was disgusted because I couldn’t stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one, ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how I feel ladies! We are too special to be arguing over a guy.”” Words to live by.

However, Kelly didn’t stop at The Bachelor, she continued to say that she once rooted for a female version of the show, but, once said version did come out she was just as disgusted by it. She explained to the audience, ““I was like, how come they don’t have a woman with men fighting over her? How come they don’t do that show?'”.  She continued, “”I found that show just as creepy but in a completely different way,” she added. “”I was like, ‘ew, eww, ewww.'” I mean to someone who does not watch the show the concept can sound a little creepy.

Nevertheless, The Bachelor and Bachelorette’s creator, Mike Fleiss did not take kindly to Kelly’s lighthearted criticism. He tweeted, “Easy, @kellyripa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!” To put it into context, The Bachelor franchise and Live With Kelly And Ryan share the same network, ABC.

Many other bachelor alumni have spoken out including the show’s host Chris Harrison. Chris also tweeted out “Look out #BachelorNation ⁦@KellyRipa⁩ is coming after you and your “disgusting” Monday night habit.”

Kelly has not responded to these tweets but do not worry she was not left defenseless. Grey’s Anatomy star, Ellen Pompeo came to her defense. She tweeted, “Okay @fleissmeister… that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary.  Also we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success.  Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m a savage…. #bachelorsoooowhite”

As for Hannah Brown, who appeared on Live With Kelly And Ryan on Thursday, she addressed the feud more kindly. When Kelly jokingly said, “”I’m not sure if they told you backstage, I’m not behind this at all””.  Brown responded in a more friendly manner. She explained, ““Like you, I didn’t really follow the show, wasn’t a big fan [however] Being a part of the show, it’s not women fighting against each other””. Hannah continued, ““Some of my best friends came from the show and were really supportive. When you have a group of 30 people together, there’s going to be people who don’t like each other. That’s simple facts.””

Hannah also clarified that although it does not seem like it, ““Ultimately, it was one of the most empowering things I ever have done because I had to push myself and grow as an individual, and I did. I think that’s why I decided that I wanted to be The Bachelorette.””

Hopefully now that Hannah has clarified a few things all parties can put this feud to rest and save the drama for next week’s episode of The Bachelorette.