Ellen Pompeo Thinks This Is Why 2 Grey's Anatomy Stars Are Leaving

Mar 12, 2018 at 1:51 p.m. ET
Image: Frederick M. Brown/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Update March 25, 2018, 5:30 p.m. PT: A few weeks have passed, and it still saddens us to think about the news that Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw are leaving Grey's Anatomy. But let's set the record straight: Ellen Pompeo's salary did not serve as a catalyst for these controversial creative changes. However, Pompeo does have an idea why April Kepner and Arizona Robbins are being written off.

On Thursday's Ellen DeGeneres Show, Pompeo once again denied that her $20 million pay led to casting cuts. "It's absolutely not true," insisted the lead of ABC's medical drama.

So, what gives, then?

"I mean, I'm not involved in these kind of decisions, however, there's a few problems that you encounter doing a show for 14 seasons," Pompeo said. "One of them is the writers have a really hard time creatively thinking up new stories for all these characters. I think we have 16 regular cast members, and I think it's always sad when we lose people for whatever reason. Whether they want to go or don't want to go, it doesn't make it any easier."

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You can't really argue with that logic. Can you imagine coming up with fresh storylines for over a decade? We can't even pronounce half the afflictions featured on Grey's, much less think them up.

Original story (published March 12, 2018): There's been a lot of turnover on Grey's Anatomy lately, and with the announced departures of Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw, fans have had enough. That's fine, but they need to direct their anger somewhere other than the Twitter clapback queen, Ellen Pompeo, who has had enough of the negativity surrounding her costars' exits.

More: 12 Characters Killed Off Grey's Anatomy We're Still Mourning

Fans are rightly angry that Capshaw, who has been a series regular for nine seasons, and Drew, who has starred on 10, are leaving. But there's this rumor that their departure has something to do with Grey's recent salary negotiations and Pompeo's reported $20 million-per-season paycheck. Pompeo is not here for that.

"We R grateful all of you are so passionate but if you knew these two women the way I know them they would not approve of all this nastiness," Pompeo tweeted. "They both are super shiny happy people. I know you’re angry but your representation couldn’t be further from who these women actually are."

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Pompeo and co-showrunner Krista Vernoff have previously slammed reports that Pompeo's newly increased salary is a point of contention for the cast.

"The suggestion in the Deadline article that our cast changes are in any way related to Ellen Pompeo’s salary renegotiation is wrong and hurtful and misguided," Vernoff wrote on Twitter. "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."

More: ABC Reveals Whether Sandra Oh Is Returning for Grey's Anatomy's 300th Episode

We're definitely going to miss Capshaw and Drew, but Pompeo isn't to blame for their choices to leave the show. As angry as fans may be, she's right to ask them to play nice and leave her out of it.

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