Entertainment TV Jesse Williams Says It's 'Unlikely' 'Grey's Anatomy' Would Survive Without Ellen Pompeo Ellen Pompeo is "the heart of that show," said Williams, who plays Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC's hit medical drama By Dory Jackson Dory Jackson Instagram Twitter Website Dory Jackson is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE's digital TV team. While at the brand, she's had the opportunity to interview a long list of celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Pierce Brosnan to Billy Porter. She also recaps popular TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules.The New York-based Maryland native graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May 2016 with a focus in Communication Studies and Journalism. She came to PEOPLE in March 2021 after working at a number of major news companies, including Newsweek and Us Weekly. She also previously co-hosted a podcast called "Idol Nation." People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 13, 2022 02:41 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage Jesse Williams is unsure how Grey's Anatomy would shape up if Ellen Pompeo were to leave. The 2022 Tony nominee opened up about the possibility of Pompeo, 52, leaving the ABC series, responding to recent comments she's made on the matter. "I don't know, it would be a different show," Williams, 40, told Access Hollywood. "She's the heart of that show. She's Grey. So, unlikely." He added, "But again, I don't work there anymore. So it doesn't matter what I think." Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams Are Rooting for a Japril Spin-Off: 'We Have a Really Tremendous Partnership' Williams first joined Grey's Anatomy in season 6 as Dr. Jackson Avery and exited in 2021 after 12 seasons, though he recently returned for the season 18 finale. Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Pompeo has been on the popular medical drama since its debut season airing in 2005. Recently, she offered a cryptic response when speaking about the series potentially continuing without her, saying, "We'll see, we'll see." "Trying to reinvent the show and continually trying to reinvent the show is the challenge at this point, and listen, the show speaks to a lot of people, and the young people love the show," she told Entertainment Tonight. "It's inspired so many generations of healthcare workers," she added. "So, I think for the young people, it's a really good piece of content and we're going to try to keep it going for the young people — not necessarily with me, but keep it going beyond me." Liliane Lathan/ABC via Getty Pompeo has also openly discussed her desire to end the series altogether. "I feel like I'm the super naive one who keeps saying, 'But what's the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?'" she told Insider in December 2021. "And everyone's like, 'Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.'" It was announced in January that Pompeo will be returning for the show's 19th season.