The 49-year-old actress, Ellen Pompeo, who essays the character of Dr. Meredith Grey and is now a producer on the long-running series, Grey’s Anatomy, recently sat down with Empire’s Taraji P. Henson for Variety’s latest Actors on Actors chat.
Conversing with Henson, she revealed that it was a “really toxic work environment” during her first decade on the show.
Even though Pompeo later countered that claim by saying she was proud of how far the show had come and how proud she was of her own achievements both in front of and behind the cameras, she received severe backlash for her comments.
After receiving a lot of criticism, Pompeo took to Twitter and responded to the backlash over her comments about Grey’s Anatomy via a three-part post.
“Hey! Anyone having feelings over Variety piece. It’s not worth getting yourself upset over not singling anyone out,” read Pompeo’s first tweet. “As a show we all had a part to play in the environment, me included… as many workplaces do. We changed that story. That’s the story we all have the power to change!”
During her conversation with Taraji P. Henson, Ellen Pompeo also spoke about the efforts she worked on to make the set of the beloved series a safer place to work. She further explained that it became her “mission” to change the environment because she didn’t want the show to be so “fantastic to the public” but a “disaster behind the scenes.”
In the second part of her Twitter post, the Grey’s Anatomy star elucidated that she never intended to throw “shade” at anyone in particular with her comments. In fact she wanted to share her experience in order to encourage others to reflect and inspire change.
“None of my comments in print are ever meant to shade anyone. That’s so not productive,” she tweeted. “My words about my journey are always meant to inspire and reflect. My shade is very obvious when I’m not subtle about it you all should know that!”
Pompeo also went on to say that she values the ABC drama series as much as fans.
“I’m aware how much love there is for this show and these characters... no one has more love than me... I’ve dedicated half my life to it. The show has been a blessing for us all in different ways. The negative vibes...not healthy.... and ummmm a doctah,” she wrote in her third tweet.
Grey’s Anatomy will return for season 16 in fall 2019. The series has also been renewed for season 17 on ABC.
– With information from Variety and Pop Culture