Ellen Pompeo Interview

Ellen Pompeo's Post-McDreamy Era Lament: 'Why Can't I Be on That [Grey's] Poster Myself?'

Ellen Pompeo has a bone to pick with Grey’s Anatomy fans who feel there’s no show without Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pompeo acknowledged that the viewer backlash over Derek’s death has been “difficult for my ego.” She then suggested that fans are holding her to a different standard than TGIT counterparts, Scandal‘s Kerry Washington and How to Get Away With Murder‘s Viola Davis.

“It’s like, Annalise Keating carries the show, Olivia Pope carries the show… but somehow, Meredith Grey needs someone,” she lamented. “Why can’t I just be the lead of the show the way Annalise and Olivia can? Why can’t I be on that poster by myself?”

The comments represent Pompeo’s most candid remarks to date regarding Dempsey’s Grey’s Anatomy departure. Previously, the actress focused her public statements on Meredith’s post-McDreamy storyline. “I am honored and excited to tell the story of how Meredith goes on in the face of what feels like the impossible,” Pompeo tweeted in late April following Dempsey’s final episode. “I hope you will all join me on her journey.”

What do you think of Pompeo’s remarks? Does she make a valid point with her Washington/Davis comparison? Or do you view Grey’s as more of an ensemble effort? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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135 Comments
  1. Ben Kabak says:

    What a baby she is

    • Patrick says:

      She and Shonda are scared. The fan backlash to killing Derek was exponentially worse than their worst fears. If the show fails because of this, and if enough fans tune out it might, then this is Pompeo’s last rodeo. She “ratted” out a costar’s marital infidelity which lead to him getting fired. In so doing, she might have killed a hit show. Which is the one thing you don’t come back from in Hollywood. So, if this is the last season of Grey’s, her next gigs will be bad Lifetime type movies of the week, and not even those for a few years. No one likes someone who kills a valuable property. Shonda has enough other valuable assets to survive this, although she’ll now have a level of network oversight that she probably won’t like in the form of total veto power over all her scripts. But Pompeo ratted on a co-star, which means lots of actors won’t want to work with her. She and Shonda realize that killing off Derek (who could easily have moved to a teaching/research/startup position at a school in Portland only to be seen 15ish times a season) might end the show. And they are trying to recover from that. Its fun to watch them fail so spectacularly in the attempt.

      • Greg says:

        You need to get outside more… wow.

        • rowan77 says:

          No kidding. I love how a handful of loud “fans” throwing a hissy-fit think they’re the voice of a majority. Other than a few moments in Derek’s Death Episode, I thought they sent him off with a great showcase of who Derek was and the irony of him being able to save so many and when it’s his turn to get saved, they fail him. I’m not happy he’s dead, but it was one hell of an episode. Just like how “some” people scream that no one wants Castiel on Supernatural anymore and no one will watch, and the ratings are fine, people will tune into Grey’s Anatomy to see how Meredith deals with being a mother of three and a surgeon, and a board member without her partner. The show’s been on for a long time. Change can be good.

          • Teresa says:

            Preach! I loved the episode. Very Grey’s like. It left me heartbroken; I cried during every single episode –> so yes, very true to how Grey’s was and is, good tv and also, very true to the love story of those two! I completely agree with everything Shonda and Ellen said – how it’s such a journey for Mer and how this was indeed the only way MerDer could have ended that would have left me with hope that true love does exist and that Derek and Meredith were each others love of their lives. I wish “those fans” would just get off their high horse with all those rumours and speculations surrounding them and just watch season 11 again, and really think about the whole picture! Sure, I’m heartbroken Derek died – but he died in such a great way; Meredith learned from it and so many lives were saved. Ironic, yes, but very true to McDreamy. It was a great way to give Patrick an out. Thank you Shonda and everybody else who did it. Could have gone in a very different direction! Sure, I wish it could have gone on forever, but who are we kidding, they’ve been doing the show for 11 years! 11 years!

      • Amy says:

        Your source for your speculation?

        • Lilly says:

          Their source is some ratty unreliable tabloid that has already been proved to be false.

          Patrick has now said SEVERAL times (and thus has been reiterated by Shonda – their two stories actually match) that he left the show to make racing a priority. This is unsurprising, as he has been vocal about being restless and wanting to race more for years.

          What is surprising is the hideous way Patrick’s fans have responded to Ellen throughout the summer, despite the fact she is the one who didn’t walk away from the show, who honored her contract. Just this week I could not believe the amount of slut-shaming towards her I have seen due to the hot cover she is on for Entertainment Weekly. Patrick fans saying she’s desperate for viewers so she got naked and Patrick doesn’t need to do such things to be popular. Ummm, I’m pretty certain that was Patrick’s bare butt in the pilot. It was, indeed.

          I have been a Patrick Dempsey fan longer than most of these “fans” (before he was ever on Grey’s) and have been embarrassed by their behavior all summer. They’ve constantly said all summer how they won’t watch without Patrick and how Meredith alone isn’t an interesting enough story without Derek and how the show is nothing without him. And then, these same people say how DARE Ellen and Shonda imply Meredith is more important when they’ve doing the exact same thing (except in favor of Patrick). Hypocrites. What Ellen has responded to is all of that plus the fact that Patrick has been pulling away from the show and towards racing for a few years now and has been less and less available. He, himself, made Derek less important by constantly saying he’d rather not be there. And then … he broke his contract. But the worst is they’re all saying “poor Patrick, he must feel so terrible they’ve made him less important when he’s been so gentlemanly”. Ummm, he walked out on Ellen. Left her when they had signed together. He chose racing. He is no victim. He’ll tell you in every interview how he’s so happy to be racing now.

          So Ellen? Her remarks are completely justified.

          • Jewels says:

            So need a like button for this comment.

          • John Erickson says:

            Preach!!!! Double the “Like” button comment! Come on TVLINE! Get on that!

          • Leah says:

            @Lilly Preach it!!! So right about everything.

          • Patrick says:

            Tabloid(S). Multiple. And multiple websites reporting it. And this site dancing around actually stating that Patrick wasn’t down for this. If one says it, its baseless. If several say it? Literally the ONLY people saying that it was Patrick’s decision are Shonda and Ellen. Even the net isn’t pushing that obvious lie anymore. Every other media coverage site is saying that Ellen ratted out Patrick’s affair, and Shonda punished him from deviating from her moral dictates. When enough people there is a fire, you have look for a fire. Unless every tabloid and web site all made up the exact same story on the exact same day. For the Shonda version to be accurate, every single media outlet spontaneously came up with the same exact lie at the same exact time.

          • Sara says:

            You know one tabloid is out, and the other sites pick up on it and than BOOM, it’s everywhere. So Patrick is a diva and so hard to work with? Cause it was in the tabloids too? Patrick fans don’t want to face, the fact he left the show, all of a sudden after signing a few months before. Which is so offensive to everyone, especially the fans who were hopeful to see Meredith and Derek together.

          • Nancy says:

            Um you realize that it was not actually his bare butt? They wear body suits! Flesh colored. This is not a porn set. It’s a tv show and at the time he was a married man. Yeah I doubt he was walking around naked on set. What I find annoying is that EP’s fans don’t see how she is trashing her former co-stars. not just PD but also KH Yet nobody sees a thing wrong with THAT! Walked out on EP? They were co-stars. Not lovers. She is married! And he is not the first co-start to leave a contract. it happens ALL the time and not just on Grey’s.

          • dp99 says:

            Two words: Non-disclosure.

          • femaleengineer says:

            YES!

      • A Fan of TV says:

        Patrick, chill. Ellen has already much said she’s not very interested in acting when Grey’s ends, that she wants that life behind the camera producing and directing. This makes sense because she’s not the kind of person who likes being followed by paps or sharing her personal life with the world, and a role like Meredith Grey comes along once in a lifetime for most actors. She recognizes that and appreciates it, doesn’t fear it. It’s so nice that you can apparently read her mind, though, so you can tell us how she really feels about it all.

      • Tony says:

        Wow. This post is the epitome of the internet commenter who think just because they post random rumors and speculation snd state them as fact, it makes it true.

        • Patrick says:

          If they weren’t scared, why are both Shonda and Ellen doing tons of damage control? This is the most recent article covering yet another press release by either Shonda, Ellen, or ABC about how the show is going to be fine (it isn’t). And press releases where Shonda or Ellen say that Patrick wanted out to do more racing don’t mean anything. What else are they going to say? Until I see Patrick on TV saying that he wanted to be written off the show, I’m not buying it. Oh, and Ellen can forget about behind the scenes stuff if the show dies. No one in Hollywood likes rats or people that kill golden geese. She done.

          • Sara says:

            Let’s be real. What are they going to say? The show is going to tank without Patrick? Really? He was barely in season 11, he missed about full 7 episodes already.. and the show was fine.
            Patrick said in all the interviews he left, and he should have never signed for 2 more seasons, he’s been pulling away from the show for years, he was in for just the money and didn’t care about anything else. He’s been racing and testing and away from LA so really IF he was still on the show, how was he supposed to shoot his scenes? Clearly unavailable. So it shows how much he left himself and not fired.. I think Patrick is also done in Hollywood, no one is going to put with his racing, and always be on his schedule. It’s not fair to any cast and crew. Grey’s and abc were kind and understanding to give him that.

          • viji says:

            Whatever the reason behind Patrick’s resignation, the fact is without him the show lost its Charm. It is not on how long he is shown in the episodes or how others perform well ,it is a feeling that he is there in the season as Mer’s true love which gives Viewers the push to watch the show.This is now truly a great minus.

          • Josh says:

            what does it matter? It’s just a tv show, and for one person (the poster going by Patrick) to spend so much time angry about this is a waste of time. Turn off the tv, put down the tabloids and go outside. Or pick up a newspaper and get this upset about one of the many issues facing the country and world right now. At least that stuff matters.

          • mary says:

            I don’t see it as damage control. People are still going at it, so they are letting people know what’s up. Would you rather they said nothing at all. That’s what sometimes happens when fans are outraged. The writers, actors, producers won’t say anything. That all infuriates people as well. Dempsey wanted less time acting more time racing. You cannot always just write around that.

      • So you read Star Magazine for your entertainment knowledge and, I presume, the Bible for science facts?

      • dp99 says:

        Yep, they ALL really blew it. No-one really knows, with the non-disclosures and all, but he was looking pretty a shabby and unkempt in many of those later episodes. I believe the rumors.

    • czarina says:

      I can’t agree more.

    • Whatevah says:

      I never thought of her as the “lead” I felt Grey’s was more of an ensemble cast. As a matter of fact, when rumors were flying around that she was leaving, I was ok with Lexi being the Grey in Grey’s Anatomy. Sorry Ellen

      • Bella says:

        Same here. While the storyline was based on Meredith, she was never front and centre for me, none of them really were. Can’t say I’ll be watching now Derek has gone, too many of my favs have left now.

      • Donna Peoples says:

        I agree 100 percent. I loved Lexie too.I also can’t believe EP would compare herself to Viola Davis and Kerry Washington. I wouldn’t miss Meredith at all. I always felt Christina was the most interesting. I wish Patrick Dempsey all the best.

    • Julia says:

      Hear it from me now…The show is not going to tank because McDreamy is dead…I loved MerDer just like the next person and at some point I thought I was done but I will be tuning in.
      I feel sorry for Ellen for feeling this way, I’m pretty sure there will be this much backlash if not more if/when they kill off Fitz’s character. People will forget that Olivia is the reason for the show.

      • Hoshi says:

        Agreed. Good point Julia. I wanna see Meredith on her own being strong. Maybe it’s the feminist in me. It is also why I loved Christina’s endgame was her changing the game in cardiothorasic surgery and not her being in love.

    • Butter says:

      Ok so Ellen just lost me there. At first I was like “Ok maybe I’ll watch just to support Ellen”.. Now I don’t even care anymore. I’ve watched all the episodes of Grey’s except for the the last 2 episodes leading to Derek’s death plus of course the actual episode where he died. Now I feel like I just left a 10 year relationship. At first it was sad and devastating but after what Ellen said, I just feel angry now.

      • Cbsm says:

        Perfectly stated!

      • Debbie Nowak says:

        I agree though I was done when they killed Derek. I did not finish the season and have no desire to watch this year. To me their love story was the reason I watched. Now I can not even watch reruns knowing how it ends. Shondra could have easily had him go off to find himself or heck even amnesia would have been accepted!

    • Leia says:

      maybe because she’s not that impressive.

    • Jeri says:

      Patrick D stated racing cars was his job & his passion. He made it clear he no longer wanted to be a part of the show. He got his wish. Any backlash is Patricks own. A lot of us have jobs we are not perfectly happy with but we do not make statements to that effect on the job or in public where they will hear about it without repercussions. Common sense folks.

    • mary says:

      Put yourself in her shoes. It’s called Grey’s Anatomy, yet some fans pretty much say your worthless. As an actress, I would be upset. I would be upset if someone told me I was no good without my spouse, or my business partner, etc. She didn’t come out right away & say anything. She let it cool down. But there are those who are still going at it.

  2. Azerty says:

    Because at some point in the show (around season 7-8-9) Ellen Pompeo (and Patrick Dempsey as well) were expected to be leaving someday because of what they said about it at that moment. And Shonda kept telling us that Grey’s Anatomy didn’t need Meredith. Then they killed Lexie – a character a lot of fans thought would be the “Grey” in Grey’s Anatomy – and now they say it’s Meredith’s journey! A little bit confusing for me, it seems they adapt according to what happens behind the scenes…

  3. jason says:

    Her character is written as someone needy and dependent. If she reads that into a commentary on herself . . . . . . . .

  4. Tina says:

    It’s hard to view this as her show because since day one it has been about Meredith and Derek. We have rooted for this couple for 10 years. Derek is and will always be a part of Grey’s. Two episodes without him doesn’t change that.

    • Exactly. This show was presented from the very first moment as a love story between Meredith and Derek. For EP to say now that she’s angry that she can’t be considered the sole lead is a bit disingenuous. She’s just not all that interesting an actress or a character, although Shonda has tried mightily to make her so. Virtually every other character on that show is more interesting. Meredith has only ever been appealing in relation to other, superior characters – e.g., Christina, Derek, Alex, George. On her own, she’s kind of whiny and annoying. And FWIW, based on PD’s statements that he was “surprised” to be written off and that things “happened very quickly,” I don’t believe for a moment that he walked out on a contract of his own volition. Shonda Rhimes has a history of writing off people who piss her off. She literally threw T.R. Knight under a bus! If she wasn’t trying to send a message with that, then I don’t know what. I think SR wants to demonstrate that her show is more important than any single person, and that anyone can be fired at any time. She may have miscalculated this time. Maybe not. We’ll see.

  5. abz says:

    While I have always LOVED characters on this show (e.g., Cristina, Izzie, Callie), I’ve always felt like there couldn’t be a show without her. I got over Derek’s death because for a long time, particularly a lot of these last two seasons, he was just a selfish, unlikable character. He was still a great character overall, but a character that wouldn’t really cause me to abandon a show I’ve invested 11 seasons watching. But I think without Meredith the show doesn’t feel right. It wouldn’t feel like Grey’s Anatomy without her. Other characters were horrible and devastating losses, but I think if Meredith/Ellen leaves, I don’t know if I can see the show going on. The show has changed drastically over the past 10 years, but Meredith has always felt like the lead to me. I was so glad she was brought back to the front focus of the show the past few seasons as it felt like she was getting lost while the show was focusing on other lesser characters (e.g., stupid new interns, the increasingly worsening character Bailey has become and her husband, etc.).

  6. ninamarie89 says:

    I think the fact that Meredith doesn’t necessarily carry the show is more to do with the way the character is written and developed over the years than with her performance and skill. That’s not in any way a jab at the incredible writers who work on the show, just sort of an observation.

    • Stacy says:

      Not just the character, the show. While she may be the “Grey” of Grey’s Anatomy, GA was always a big budget ensemble cast, much like ER. Whereas The Good Wife or Scandal hinge specifically on one lead character, despite the talented co-stars.

    • misery chick says:

      Beautiful kitteh 😻🐾

  7. Hayes says:

    After 10 years of the show being about Meredith and Derek, fans are entitled to be mad about it. It’s about the show, it’s not about her. I’m sure she’s capable of carrying the show on her own, but the show hasnt always been about that.

  8. Al says:

    I get what she saying but Merder were a huge part of the show.

    On the other hand.. I am okay with PD gone given Derek hasn’t had a big storyline in the last couple of seasons. If anything I thought Sandra Oh exit was bigger

  9. Jamie says:

    I don’t think it’s that she can’t, unthinking a more like us fans didn’t want her to have to. I loved the love story between her and Derek. Without that it’s less if a show is like to watch

  10. Keri says:

    She was addressing the nasty comments people sent to her ever since Patrick left. Her fans have been awful saying she won’t matter without Derek and such. They’ve been screaming that continually since April.

    • Tia says:

      This! She must be tired of every one of them, coming online to see all of that. Like she’s nothing and she didn’t matter, for all these years… when it was Patrick’s choice to leave all of a sudden, he said so himself. But he’s looking like the saint, and Ellen the evil.

  11. Al says:

    I do think some things the show needs to do is
    1. Keep focus on core characters
    (please give Alex more screen time and bring back the old Bailey)
    2. Get rid of the annoying/useless one ( looking at you Steph and interns)
    3. No more interns…

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who dislikes it how they treat Bailey :D. I’m so annoyed with her since few seasons! I can’t belive it. I just started a re-watch, and omg, she was so different and so, sooooo much better at the beginning!

  12. John says:

    Some fans have been incredibly nasty so I can see why she is hurt

  13. Karen says:

    The show should have been canceled long ago.

    Also MerDer was the main draw of the show, Patrick was it’s lead. The way Shonda and ABC and Ellen handled his departure was a slap in the face to the fans and viewers that stuck to that show for so long and when it was so bad.

    • Eloio says:

      Totally agree. First few seconds of the show have been Mer/Der! The show was Meredith and Derek only meredith. She should thank the writers LOL

  14. Drew says:

    It sounds like she is joking around here, more than whining. I doubt that she takes it as seriously as it sounds here.

  15. Kitty says:

    She needs to get over herself. Since Grey’s started we were sold that those two were the it couple. Then they kill him off and can’t understand why people are upset. Also no one knew who Ellen Pompeo was back then. Patrick Demosey had been in movies

  16. I always thought of Grey’s Anatomy to be more of an ensemble cast rather than one lead and the rest are just supporting characters. All the other characters apart from Meredith have always gotten so many screentime and good storys. That’s what made grey’s special from the beginning (at least for me). Another point is, Meredith has hardly been single during the whole run of the series. She was a couple with Derek from the beginning, and even if she wasn’t in season 2, she was emotionally involved and they spent alot of time together. That’s why I think many people don’t see Meredith as a sole lead. Because imo, she was never intended to be. Although it was always her, it has been her and a lot of her close friends and family too.

  17. Gigi says:

    Meredith has been my least favorite character for many seasons. When Lexie’s character joined the cast , I had hoped that she would become the reigning Grey. So disappointing!

  18. Cas says:

    Those shows started like that. Greys was always about Derek and Mer plus the rest of the cast.

  19. Sheryl says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the show, but it is just a TV show. People need to either get over this issue and enjoy the show for what it is or stop watching. He’s not coming back. It’s Shonda’s vision and sometimes creative vision changes direction and sometimes actors want to move on and do other things. Give it a rest already.

  20. To be honest Grey’s Anatomy hasn’t been about Meredith in a long time. Since Season 8 the show has been focused on other interns or attendants and then we see a little bit of meredith. I remember a lot of episodes were of the 44 minutes 30 would be about Christina and 14 would be about Christina and Meredith. But I agree with her McDreamy is not needed either we basically didn’t see him during the whole season

  21. Fan says:

    Yes it’s called Grey’s Anatomy but is that show really all about her? No the show grew to include the entire ensemble..the Nazi became Bailey the chief became Webber and more cast members came and went. there is a whole ensemble cast bringing lots of drama and I think losing one of the main stars who for the last year wasn’t even really in the show was just good writing to do what it did, shake up the show. In the end people this is just a nighttime soap. You have gotten over Luke leaving Port Charles and Bobby coming out of the shower to erase an entire season of Dallas, they will get over McDreamy, what else are you gonna watch Thursday at 8? Exactly! LOL

  22. Marika says:

    Because her character is the most annoying ever seen…?

  23. Monica4185 says:

    I get what she means. Is insulting when people think your work doesn’t matter if isn’t attach to someone else’s. People are basically saying Meredith is nothing without Derek so I won’t watch anymore because he got killed off. That’s incredibly insulting to someone who has embodied a character for ten years and whose character is way more developed that Derek’s. She basically what about her work and her commitment to the character. A little respect for her would be nice.

  24. EM says:

    I always considered her the lead but he was a big part of her story and helped make the show successful with their chemistry. The first episode started with them and ended with her and her mother. It was always her life journey IMO. After four months of online bullying with fans spewing vitriol at her and saying they won’t watch anymore, I’m sure she, and the remaining cast and crew, are frustrated as they are working their butts off to give us a show and don’t feel appreciated.

  25. Ellen needs to understand that the nasty comments she received from stupid fans are not what everybody think of her, Meredith and the show. I love Greys, it’s been part of my life since I was a teenager, and Meredith Grey is my favorite character. For me greys was first of all Meredith Grey. I love a whole lot more about it, and it’s surely an ensemble show, but Meredith is so close to my heart. I’ve always though the show was at its best when it didn’t forget about her existence….after all, the launching slogan of greys was “Life only comes in shades of grey”, and I feel like that is so representative of the show’s philosophy. Well, Meredith is the one who doens’t look at the world in black and white. She sees the shades of grey. She IS Greys’s Anatomy. So yes, I’ve always thought Ellen Pompeo can carry the show by herself just fine….she’s the reason why I keep watching (I love the others, but I honestly can’t imagine greys without Meredith). But….there’s a gigantic BUT. Derek and Meredith are my otp. I’ve been rooting for them since the beginning, it’s been 11 years for God’s sake….they were my hope, my inspiration. They made me dream, cry, feel….and I love Derek Shepherd, he’s my favorite male character. I’m all for drama and reality, but it’s still a show, it’s not real and after all that MerDer went through…after all the pain, the obstacles they have to overcome…after all the drama, they deserved better…WE DESERVED BETTER. The fans stood by them and it’s only natural that they’re upset this is the end. Derek and Meredith were supposed to be endgame. I get that Shonda didn’t want to destroy them, she wanted their love untouched….Derek died after having proclaimed and showed his love for Meredith all over again, and she chose to be with him, and that’s even more powerful than needing someone. So yes, nobody can take that from us, we will always have eleven perfect years of them. But sorry, somehow that’s not enough….it’s not easy to get over it, to stop being so disappointed. Shonda and Ellen have all the rights to stand up when they are attacked by nasty comments, people can be so rude. I don’t like rude people. But they can’t blame us if we can’t seem to get over it. Shonda has a brilliant mind, I’m sure she could find a way to keep Derek away after he and Meredith made peace…I’m sure she could do it without killing him. They could have met offscreen in future seasons…I honestly would have preferred that to this. It would still have been disappointing not to see Derek, but at least he would have been alive….they could have been together in the end. Cristina Yang had a perfect ending….Derek Shepherd didn’t and he deserved one. If it took me years not to cry at the thought of Lexie and Mark dying, I don’t know how I will get over Derek’s death. But MereDer will always be in my heart, that’s a given.

  26. Sara says:

    I’ll continue to watch as long as Ellen is on the show. Well I don’t see a show without her anyways. Thankful she’s still there after all these years. It sucks some exfans took their hate and nastiness out on her since the episode of Derek dying aired, like she wrote all of that… or she made him leave. It was something he wanted, he said so himself. Of course she’s gonna lash out, they made her feel like all the hard work and everything she did for these past 11 years were nothing. Now that Patrick is not there anymore, and let’s face it, he was barely there in the last seasons and Patrick felt like he was an outsider for so long. He was never with the cast, or did anything they did. It’s unbelievable some girls and women make another woman feeling this way and the need to hate.
    Some of the tweets to her were awful. Hell I would do the same if I was in her position. She took the heat for Patrick’s sudden departure, and he’s looking like the victim and ”Poor Patrick”.
    Meredith was and will always be my favorite character, and I will always tune in for her. Looking forward to see her shine as a surgeon, and as a mother of three, like the recent spoilers said.

  27. A Fan of TV says:

    It’s that Grey’s began about a love story, the other shows began about strong women better off alone than with the ‘others’ their shows each began with. That’s the difference. But she’s still right.

    The past few years Derek has been a near afterthought considering all the other action and character stories being told about that hospital, he was in and out…Derek Shepherd should not be the reason people disappear. Think about the abuse fans hurl at Shonda and even if you think she deserves it, remember that the things we say tell the world more about us than they tell the world about the people we say them about. The Derek backlash is very much like watching high school girls gang up on another, getting worse and more vitriolic when they realize they’re not alone.

  28. cjcampbell08 says:

    I feel like she is saying things like this to make fans feel bad about being upset about PD leaving. She is the main character, but so was Derek. From day one we all fell in love with mer/der and people invested 11 years in this show. I’m a feminist but she’s whining! I think they are scrambling now because of all the backlash. She hasn’t even been getting big story lines since around season 6. I wish the show would have just ended on top. Now the president of ABC is going to drag the show on for 10 more years. Ugh.

    • A Fan of TV says:

      If you’re the president of ABC and Grey’s is still one of your highest-rated dramas, backlash or no backlash, of course you try to keep it going (above 7mil. every week, the post-Derek numbers late last season, are ratings that many network shows would kill off several stars for!). Once the writers renamed the hospital to ‘Grey+Sloan Memorial,’ the premise was created to have a show called ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ even if Meredith left. That happened years ago, and whether or not the show outlasts Meredith, too, it’s a business decision based on good economics. It’s not inspiring creatively, but it’s life.

    • Dude says:

      The problem isn’t exactly the network but Shonda. Sure they keep the option open for Greys to continue but it’s Shonda that’s keeping it going every year. If she wanted it to be done it would be.

  29. Alie says:

    You don’t think it’d be the same kind of backlash if Fitz was killed… think again. When you end the core romantic tension a show is built on the dynamic changes. I could name several shows who didn’t anticipate this correctly and died immediately after. But, the thing that will save Grey’s in my opinion… much like ER it is set up as an ensemble show. It may be “Grey’s Anatomy,” but my favorite story lines had nothing to do with her. Plus, they are in a great position promotionally with TGIT. If season 12 doesn’t open with their best work, that’s when they should worry about it being the last rodeo. I’m so glad to read all these comments about Lexie eventually being the reigning Grey and those being destroyed. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  30. Barb says:

    Good luck with season 12. I am done watching Greys Anatomy. It’s been on too long. Time to cut the apron strings. Let other shows have a chance.

  31. Jessica says:

    It’s funny that the PD fans felt the need to tweet TO ELLEN ”you are nothing without Patrick, you should leave too, Meredith is nothing without Derek” etc… but when Ellen says something which overall means ”My character and I matter too, I’m insulted that I mean nothing for some without him” she’s the worst one here? All of this happened is because all the nasty towards her – of course she’s gonna say something!! And really she does matter I think her close 900K followers on twitter and 1.5 millions followers on Instagram – she matters for most :)
    She’s innocent in this situation and she’s having to deal with the heat. And really she’s still an ABC/Shonda employee so,,. and when she has a job like she has 350K or even more now. Of course she’ll do anything to keep it.

    If someone should be getting the heat for no Meredith and Derek anymore is Patrick, he wanted to leave, he said so himself and the only way for that to happen is death, cause Derek leaving his wife and kids? Never was going to happen.

  32. Jackie says:

    Here’s the the thing: you can be on that poster by yourself. But you also cannot expect your 10 season fan base not to have a reaction when they have been invested in Meredith and Derek’s relationship. And that was by design – every season had a storyline regarding their relationship. So while your ego may be bruised, give the fan base some time. Geesh.

    • Jessica says:

      But why not tell this and tweet all of that stuff to Patrick? And he’ll be the one dealing with all of this? He’s the one who left so the reason there’s no of that relationship on the show anymore.

  33. JZ says:

    Grey’s is relatable to the fan due it could happen in real life: Ellen can carry the show, but its the writing that makes it. What goes on off set does not set the longevity of the show. Crap happens, its gossip & shows that feed life into the off -set life where fans then focus too much on a person & then apply it to the character. (i.e. I wouldn’t want to be frowned upon just bcuz I’m divorced or have 10 kids) The show has enough drama for me to focus on the characters: there’s still life after death! We’ve yet to see what’s happening with Richard/new wife/ & child (Mere’s half sis) maybe Chritina can make a few cameos….& will Meredith raise the kids on her own w/hired help or will a fellow assist with parental duties!? The show will be just fine and move on, Dereck might be dead but his legacy lives on thru his kids & wether or not Meredith will keep his spirit alive by “talking” to him as time passes. Maintain composure folks, we’re too bored to THINK there’s any writing between the lines. At least I’ll be watching.

  34. Jewels says:

    I don’t think she’s wrong. For me…it was less about Derek and more about Meredith when he was killed off. She’s a strong woman…and I love her strength. It’s why I keep watching. At the same time this is an incredibly devastating loss. As viewers we haven’t (yet) seen her break down. If we don’t…if we don’t see the toll this took on her off screen…then I’m not sure how genuine this season will be. I will, of course, give the show an opportunity. I haven’t invested the last 11 seasons to just walk away now. There are other cast member I want to see…I want Miranda and Ben…The Chief and Avery’s mom. There is so much story to tell and Meredith plays a huge part in all of it. Just do right by the characters. That’s all I ask.

  35. Stephanie mitchell says:

    Bring back Issue! She and Alex belong together.

  36. samxcait says:

    Exactly she’s always been the LEAD of HER show. But to many irrelevant characters in the last seasons stolen the focus from her. Also she doesn’t need a men by her side to keep the show going. This is GREY’S ANATOMY not Shepherd’s anatomy.

  37. Toby says:

    The show will be completely fine. The show is called GREY’S Anatomy not MCDREAMY’s Anatomy. Derrick was barely in the season, and him dying will probably be the best thing to happen to Grey’s in a while. I’m excited to see the reinvention of Meredith Grey without her husband sidekick.

  38. Dude says:

    Simple: Meredith isn’t as strong a character as Olivia or Annelise. She doesn’t have the same presence and because of that, she needed a strong partner to ground the show. Ellen Pompeo is no Viola Davis or even Kerry Washington.

    • abz says:

      I’d argue that Olivia Pope is no longer the formidable character she once was. She really has been nothing but weak for most of these past two seasons.

  39. Tracee says:

    I know that Ellen narrates the show and the show is Grey’s Anatomy and her character is named Meredith Grey but she has been linked synonymous with Patrick’s character since the pilot episode. For the past 11 years, the show has developed Derek and Meredith as one unit and because the fan base of Grey’s is predominately hetero-female, Derek Shepard is the most popular of the two. She cannot compare her show with Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder because Shonda clearly and unequivocally established the star of those shows from the beginning to the point the fans has no confusion as to who the show centers around. But with Grey’s, Derek and Meredith were delivered to the fans as a package deal and fans are understandably upset that after 11 years of the “package deal”, Derek was completely ripped from the show entirely and permanently. Not even allowing access to Derek’s character as a divorced but co-parenting couple would have been better in the eyes of most of the fans. Every time we see Meredith, we will see Derek and that will make it hard to move on especially since both characters were so ingrained in each other.

    I am not saying it is impossible for the Meredith character to carry the show without Derek, but I personally think that in order for that to happen, the show will have to write the heck out of support story-lines of the other characters and hope for the best. This is definitely a wait and see moment for them. Personally, I’m not looking forward to the new season without Derek, I don’t know if I’ll tune in yet or not.

  40. Luli says:

    For me the show has been always about meredith and cristina, then meredith and derek. Cristina left, but in the end she and meredith are the heart of the show. Derek was a leading character, but he was not the most important one.

    My rank of leading characters: Meredith, Cristina, Derek.

    I’m excited for this new season, I want to see more of Meredith and Alex.

    • abz says:

      I definitely agree. I see many comments saying the biggest draw for the show was MerDer. For me that was just far from it. The biggest draw for me in the beginning were Meredith, Cristina, and Izzie. Basically the five interns (including George and Alex) and their relationships together and their growth into surgeons. Meredith and Derek were secondary. It was nice to watch them develop over the years and I was sad when he died, but Derek wasn’t a character for me where if he left I was finished with the show. If anything I’d have quit over Cristina’s exit rather than Derek’s. And he was barely on the show last season. While the show wasn’t without its issues as its still an aging show, I think it did okay.Your ranking is exactly how I’d order those three characters. Maybe even having Mer and Cristina in the same rank. The loss of Cristina was a greater loss to the show than Derek I think

  41. Liz S says:

    Meredith’s vojce is the one I’ve always been fascinated with. Her depth of personality, insight, humour & medical talent are more than enough for me. Derek was dreamy, but she is the sun for me. I wish Christina would visit!!onc their

  42. Larc says:

    I can understand what Pompeo is saying. After all, her character is the one whose name is part of the show’s title. Frankly, I’m not sorry Derek is gone. It was clear that Patrick Dempsey had already checked out. As a result, he was dragging things down. While Meredith may be mourning the loss of Derek, I get the idea that Ellen definitely doesn’t feel that way about Patrick. And likely nobody else in the cast does either.

    • Jess says:

      That’s how I felt too. It must have been tiring that everything was on his schedule and when he was available.. work is work.
      I think the fact, no one from the cast really said anything after his exit say it all IMO. Not just Ellen.

      • Janet H says:

        I did see an interview with PD and he said that scheduling was impossible. I’m happy that he is doing what he loves and that he is happy. But….did they have to kill him in a car crash, and in a Porsche. That was a bit too much.

  43. Mille says:

    It’s got NOTHING to do with her credibility as a leading actress, it’s got NOTHING to do with fans not loving her enough for her to lead the show on her own without Patrick. The problem is that fans invested 11 years into this epic love story and had that was snatched from us in a shabby low effort storyline. Dempsey wasn’t given half the treatment Sandra Oh was when she left, she was given an entire YEAR to say farewell to her character and they tied up lots of loose ends with her.

  44. Mark Green says:

    They’re actors in Hollywood. Hollywood is a well documented nasty place, especially being a actor/actress on a hit TV show. If you can’t handle the heat, and let online comments get to you….Hah, well that’s pathetic and people need to grow some skin.

    • Angela says:

      I agree that that’s something that actors must prepare for when they get into this line of work, ’cause you’re right that they’ll inevitably encounter that kind of reaction from some people at some point.
      At the same time, however, I don’t think it’s asking too much that fans learn how to express their criticism or disapproval of something without making nasty threats or immature insults towards the actual actors,, and learn and accept the difference between fiction and reality. There comes a point where some fans really need to learn to just grow up and act like mature, decent, rational people.

    • Real says:

      How can anyone take the heat when they already have PTSD and didn’t even know what was really going on? Till late

  45. Sheldon W. says:

    The show IS called Grey’s Anatomy – Not Grey/McDreamy’s Anatomy!

  46. khaching says:

    The show lost a lot for me when Christina Yang was gone. I am hoping it will still be a good enough show to see without Derek.

  47. fatalsin says:

    Maybe i’m in the minority here but, I feel his role on the show was done. His story to me was played out… yes he coulda gone the teaching route and put in cameos here and there.. but it woulda just seemed forced. I kinda felt even in this last season he was forced… I dont know just one watchers opinion of course

  48. gris says:

    Loved Derek, sad when he was killed. But grey’s will be fine without him

  49. tyranthraxus says:

    What the issue here is more than

    A) Greys Anatomy is not a young show anymore. Not as old as NCIS but its hitting the age where retirement isnt far off

    B) If Grey’s Anatomy was seen as built around a core female cast member at one point it stopped being that years ago. At time they have actually introduced mystery siblings to keep the title going only for them to disappear or die off. The show to me now is more akin to ER in terms of screen time for cast members.

    C) People get attached to things on their screen for a long time. Such was the case with Mark/Patrick. There might be some resistance there, but it isnt so much a public view on this, its the network view… why arnt ‘THEY’ putting her on a poster ?

  50. Hoshi says:

    I think she’s right. A show that’s been on this long has to change and I missed Meredith being on her own. I may not like the idea that Derek is dead but I am excited to see Meredith (and Ellen Pompeo) shine on their own.