Yikes. Ellen Pompeo just opened up about the toxic environment on the Grey’s Anatomy set and why she almost left the show early.
In a Varietyinterview with Taraji P. Henson, Ellen talked about having “serious culture issues,” bad behaviors, and toxicity in the first 10 years. The only reason she stayed were her kids. “[Once] I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family,” she said. “At 40 years old, where am I ever going to get this kind of money? I need to take care of my kids.”
Taraji also asked Ellen if she had the same salary as Patrick Dempsey in the beginning of the show. “He was being paid almost double what I was in the beginning. He had a television quote. I had never done TV,” she revealed. The actress has also talked about this in the past, claiming that Patrick refused to negotiate his salary.
But Ellen didn’t let the toxic environment break her and she said she had to do something. “[After] Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera. 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. She didn’t specify the actions they took, but she worked with producer Shonda Rhimes to ensure things are better on set.