Ellen Pompeo Admits Katherine Heigl Was “100 Percent Right” About ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ All Along

Hindsight is deeeefinitely 20/20 for Ellen Pompeo, who recently backed her former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Katherine Heigl’s comments about the long filming hours on set of the ABC medical drama during the latest episode of her Tell Me podcast. Joined by fellow Grey’s Anatomy alum Kate Walsh—who is confirmed to return to the series this season (!!)—Ellen discussed Katherine’s allegations from over a decade ago.

“I remember [Katherine] Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working. She was 100 percent right,” Ellen admitted. “Had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she [was] ahead of her time. She made a statement about our crazy hours, and of course, let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful. When the truth is, she’s 100 percent honest and it’s absolutely correct what she said, and she was fucking ballsy for saying it, and she was telling the truth, she wasn’t lying.”

FYI, Ellen is referring to Katherine’s 2009 appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman. While on a press tour for new movie at the time, The Ugly Truth, the actress talked about how “cruel” and “mean” the 17-hour days were for her and her fellow cast-mates. She also hammered down on her views my asserting she was “going to keep saying this cuz’ I hope it embarrasses them.”

A year prior, the 27 Dresses actress removed herself from consideration for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama at the 2008 Emmys, which she had won the year before. At the time, many saw the move as a blow towards the Grey’s Anatomy producers, and the actress eventually said she thought she “was doing the right thing. And I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t snubbing the Emmys.”

Katherine admitted to Howard Stern in 2016 how much the years of blowback and claims that she was difficult to work with took a toll on her mental health. “I was not handling it well. I was feeling completely like the biggest piece of shit on the bottom of your shoe…I remember wearing shoes a size too small because I was afraid to tell wardrobe they weren’t big enough because I didn’t want to be difficult. After that I was like, ‘This is nonsense, stop it.’” She also said she began going to therapy, which helped.

More recently, the actress took to Instagram to talk about the backlash she got for endorsing the IATSE strike last year.


A post shared by Katherine Heigl (@katherineheigl)

“Some of you may remember over 10 years ago I was very vocal about the absurdity of the working hours crews and actors were being forced into by production,” she wrote. “Even Diane Sawyer interviewed me and not so kindly informed me ‘no one feels sorry for you.’ I very publicly and for many years after got my ass kicked for speaking up. We are making entertainment. We are not solving world hunger or curing cancer. We are telling stories. When production plows into hour 14 and beyond they are asking our crews to drive themselves home bone tired.”

When Ellen agreed with Katherine’s claims 12 years later, people admitted she should have been believed all along:

Not Ellen pompeo speaking up after a billion seasons and being the most paid woman on tv😭 … https://t.co/srPPqLtFC5

Hopefully the Grey’s work environment is a better one these days…and they thank Katherine for helping them get there.

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