Ellen Pompeo Defends Her 'Toxic Work Environment' Comment About 'Grey's Anatomy' 's First 10 Years

"The negative vibes... not healthy," Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey) wrote on Twitter in response to the backlash

Ellen Pompeo is responding to backlash over her recent comments about Grey’s Anatomy.

The 49-year-old actress, who plays Dr. Meredith Grey in the long-running series, recently sat down with Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson for Variety‘s latest Actors on Actors chat, telling Henson it was a “really toxic work environment” during her first decade on the show.

Days later, Pompeo decided to set the record straight on in a three-part post on Twitter.

“Hey! Anyone having feelings over Variety piece. It’s not worth getting yourself upset over not singling anyone out..,” her first tweet read. “As a show we all had a part to play in the environment me included..as many workplaces do.. We changed that story. That’s the story we all have the power to change!”

During her sit-down with Henson, she explained that it became her “mission” to change the environment because she didn’t want the show to be so “fantastic to the public” but a “disaster behind the scenes.”

ellen pompeo
Ellen Pompeo. Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

In the second part of her Twitter post, Pompeo clarified that she never intended to throw “shade” at anyone in particular with her comments, but rather wanted to share her experience so as to encourage others to reflect on their own and inspire change.

“None of my comments in print are ever meant to shade anyone. That’s so not productive,” she explained in the second tweet. “My words about my journey are always meant to inspire and reflect. My shade is very obvious when I’m not subtle about it you all should know that!!”


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The actress ended her post on a lighthearted note, joking about her role as a doctor and telling fans that the negativity was not healthy.

“I’m aware how much love there is for this show and these characters… no one has more love than me.. I’ve dedicated half my life to it,” Pompeo concluded. “The show has been a blessing for us all in different ways. The negative vibes…not healthy….and ummmm a doctah.”

Although the first 10 years were an uphill battle, Pompeo explained she didn’t want to leave, especially when she realized she needed to provide for her family. She convinced the show that it could continue when Patrick Dempsey decided to leave, and negotiated for an annual paycheck of $20 million — making her one of the highest-paid actresses on TV.

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