A few months back, Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo caused quite a stir online after recounting that time she got into a scrap on the set of the long-running medical drama.
The IRL Meredith and Derek, Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, reunited on the actress’ podcast, Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo, where she discussed a verbal altercation she once had on-set with actor Denzel Washington, who directed an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
“He went nuts on me; this is a good Denzel story,” Pompeo said, before recalling how during one scene, she went off-script and told her cast mate to “Look at me when you apologise. Look at me.”
Apparently Washington was not pleased with Pompeo’s attempt at improvising the scene and he “went nuts on my ass.”
“He was like ‘I’m the director, don’t you tell him what to do!’ And I was like, ‘Listen motherfucker, this is my show, this is my set, who’re you telling? You barely know where the bathroom is!'” Pompeo recalled to Dempsey.
“I have the utmost respect for him as an actor, as a director, as everything, but we went at it one day.”
Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy) and Ellen Pompeo (Meredith). (Credit: Grey’s Anatomy)
Pompeo revealed that she later shared the incident with Washington’s wife, Pauletta Washington, when she came to visit the set.
“He let me have it today, and I’m not OK with him and I’m not looking at him and I’m not talking to him,” Pompeo says she told Mrs Washington.
She added that despite the argument, “it was an amazing experience,” and noted that sometimes TV sets are “an emotional place” and can get passionate, but the two “were fine after that.”
Months later, Washington has now responded to Pompeo’s claims in an interview Variety.
When asked for his take on the story, he claimed that he didn’t recall the incident, adding: “No, no … but it’s all good.”
Hm, this might just be me sniffing for drama, but I detect a hint of shade in his response…
As you’ll recall, the story went viral back in October, with loads of people ripping into Pompeo for disrespecting Washington.
I feel like she told this story because she thought it made her sound badass, when really it speaks to the toxic culture of the Grey’s Anatomy set and kinda implicates her in it. Yikes. https://t.co/6jNTYKiC4K pic.twitter.com/efkLuG3EN1— Matthew Galea (@mattygalea_) September 30, 2021
Ellen Pompeo wasn’t just wildly rude to Denzel Washington on set, she confronted his wife when she came to visit. And the entire reason Denzel Washington was brought on as a director is that producer Debbie Allen was trying to appease Pompeo. Wow. https://t.co/eqaHBPu0P1— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) September 30, 2021
the tl eating ellen pompeo up and i can’t defend her this time bc she was wrong and why you telling us the story unprovoked like it’s tea pic.twitter.com/uGTg3QZe94— the house mom (@j_ogun) September 30, 2021
The craziest part of the entire story is Ellen Pompeo shared that story thinking it would make her look great.— Kimberly Nicole Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) September 30, 2021
“I was like, ‘Listen, motherf–ker, this is my show,'" Ellen continued. "This is my set. Who are you telling?" I wonder if she’d talk to Scorsese or Spielberg like that? https://t.co/QDaMTVtdn5— @tiffanydcross (@TiffanyDCross) September 30, 2021
Denzel Washington: Ellen can you move slightly to the left..— raveen marie ❄️ (@xoraveen) September 30, 2021
Ellen Pompeo : DO YOU KNOW WHO TF I AM?! This is MY SET! THIS IS MY SHOW pic.twitter.com/zduokIDJ6A
Some folks took the Grey’s Anatomy star’s side, however, including actress Nancy Lee Grahn, who opined that since the long-running show is centred on Pompeo’s character and Washington was a visiting director, she should have received more respect.
An actress isn’t an employee or underling 2 a visiting guest director of a show that’s centered around her for 16 yrs generating billions. #GH films right next door to Greys. I’m witness to #EllenPompeo being gracious, kind, fair, fierce & a take no shit boss woman. My kinda gal.— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) September 30, 2021
The takeaway is not a spat between a Director & Actor which isn’t uncommon It’s an emotional,unusual environment, not a Bank. Its the vitriol directed at a powerful woman who relating an experience on set that ended up fine, because she dared to roar at a powerful man.— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) September 30, 2021
Drama on the set of Grey’s Anatomy is one of Hollywood’s worst-kept secrets. In fact, there’s a book coming out that spotlights the chaotic environment, including legit quotes from the show’s actors and producers.
Ya think Ellen’s behaviour was bad? Just wait ’til ya read what Patrick Dempsey a.k.a McDreamy got up to on-set before he was fired…
If the IRL drama is making you sad and you’d rather delve into the fictional drama, Grey’s Anatomy is now streaming on Disney+.
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