Ellen Pompeo Rips into Sexism in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Ellen Pompeo Rips into Sexism in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Go get ’em, Grey!

Ellen Pompeo, who plays the iconic Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy may be the highest paid actress in TV, but it was no easy feat.  Actually, she fought tooth and nail to be paid the same as Patrick Dempsey (who played Derek Shepherd.)  If you’re curious about how much she makes, it’s $20 million a year, or roughly $557k an episode.  Dang.  Are they holding auditions for a new red headed medical intern or resident?  Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.

Anyways, fantasizing about rolling in the millions aside, Pompeo said she endured many hostile talks with ABC executives to even get that salary.  Actually, Patrick Dempsey fueled it!  She told the Hollywood Reporter:

“They could always use him as leverage against me —‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick’—which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me.”

And, obviously to those who don’t even WATCH Grey’s Anatomy knows that McDreamy was killed off in season 11.  But did that even help Pompeo’s salary negotiations?  Um… no.  In fact, they immediately rushed in a new male lead to compete with her for the lion’s share of the money;

“So, what does it look like when he leaves the show? First, it looks like a ratings spike, and I had a nice chuckle about that. But the truth is, the ink wasn’t even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy. I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing—it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé—and they’re calling me, going, ‘What do you think of this guy?’ ‘What do you think of this guy?’ And they’re sending pictures. I was like, ‘Are you people f—ing nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?”

Man, for a woman who’s the TITULAR character and focus of the show, it’s amazing ABC didn’t pay her like her former male counterpart.  Do you think women should be paid the same for their movie and TV work if they’re the main character?


Image credit: PR Photos