Patrick Dempsey and Shonda Rhimes

Grey's Anatomy: A 'Reinvigorated' Patrick Dempsey Weighs In on Ex-Boss Shonda Rhimes' 'Provocative' Reveal About Killing Off a Disliked Actor

Did Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes whack Derek Shepard because she disliked Patrick Dempsey? It’s a question fans have been buzzing about ever since the Queen of Shondaland admitted to Larry Wilmore back in November that she once killed off a character because she loathed his/her portrayer.

Well, in a new interview with Dempsey, point-blank asked the actor if Rhimes was referring to him. His diplomatic response is below:

I think she loves being provocative and that’s fine for who she is. That gets people talking about all the stuff that she’s doing. She’s an amazing woman who is incredibly productive. She’s promoting a book. She’s promoting three shows. And she’s emerging as the star of all of these things. I think she knows how to deal with the media and what she needs to say to get the response that she’s looking for. She’s very savvy.

Dempsey, who just wrapped a supporting role in the upcoming sequel Bridget Jones’s Baby, went on to say that he’s been professionally “reinvigorated” in the wake of his Grey’s departure. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely, getting back to something that has a beginning, middle and end,” he said. “It’s just a completely different approach. With Grey’s, you’re just grinding it out. In this instance, you take the time to get through things.”

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  1. Charif says:

    idk what happened between these 2 but i must say that i REALLY enjoy this season !!! Scandal should take some notes !

    • I think that Ellen Pompeo has had a chance to shine this year and that is partially due to the fact that Patrick is gone. The Thanksgiving episode, in particular, was amazing. Love this season as well.

  2. Al says:

    I don’t think she was referring to PD. I think PD was simply tired of doing it for 11 seasons.

    It’s either TR Knight or Tim Daily on PP

    • Stephon JS says:

      Knight wanted off after what Washington said

      • NM says:

        Knight was an attention seeker trying to promote his career through what Washington said. I don’t agree with Washington’s comment but Heigl and Knight made it a much bigger deal than it was. When they didn’t get what they wanted from the show after it happened, they followed each other out the door in less than 12 episodes a part. It was clearly stated Knight left as he wasn’t getting enough screen time, so with no dramas occurring it was easier to walk away.

        • Jeri says:

          Agree. If Heigl had kept her mouth shut (LOL Like ever) Knight would have stayed longer.

          • Temperance says:

            Knight left because Rimes sat on the fence leaning slightly in a totally unjustified way (in what looked like an instance of defending the black actor over the gay one). It was so out of line Dempsey and Washington almost had a fist fight over it. Heigl, being the usual strong person she is, also stood up for Knight. Washington and Rimes created the problem. Full stop. Of course, she’s done a 180 in the press, but she’s pretty famously a great lair.

          • S. says:

            BS. Washington caused it. He gets made to apologize and then doubles down on his stupid at the Golden Globes. I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t just shut up.

        • Temperance says:

          Of course, that’s not what happened to any degree. I guess you share Washington’s penchant for lying to support a homophobic agenda.

        • What a load of crap. If Knight was trying to promote his career, he would have remained closeted. “Out” actors are pigeon-holed or ostracized the moment they come out of the closet and calling even more attention to the fact, after the “F-word” incident, would not have been an attempt to promote his career. But you can go ahead an justify homophobia if it makes you feel better.

      • Temperance says:

        Knight wanted off after Washington’s heinous actions, and Rhimes clearly didn’t want to do anything to Washington over it. It was pretty obnoxious.

        • shemark57 says:

          She fired Washington. And he has barely worked since. What did you want her to do to him? Execute him in the public square?

          As far as out actors being pigeon-holed, that’s a crock. Tell it to NPH and Matt Bomer, among others, who are doing just fine, thank you. TR Knight was just a minimally talented cry-baby who made a much bigger deal than was necessary over Washington using an offensive gay slur toward an actor who was not gay. He took a fight between IW and PD that wasn’t remotely about anyone’s sexuality and was not directed toward him and made it all about himself.

          And BTW, having seen Knight act, in a straight, non-pigeonholed role in a play shortly afterward, I can tell you he’s just not very good. He was very lucky in that George was that rare perfect match of actor and role, and he just flat-out blew it. His lack of talent, combined with an entitled attitude, is why he doesn’t work much, I am sure.

      • Ange Wood says:

        Knight wanted off because he didn’t have much screen time, same with Katherine’s complaint however, she also had movies, which she thought herself of high importance so she wanted off.

      • tomus225 says:

        Why? Washington was GONE!

  3. Al says:

    I must add this is easily GA best season in a while.

  4. While I still don’t think Shonda was referring to Patrick… that’s quite a vague answer he gave, so clearly, no love lost.

    • Larc says:

      Even if Shonda wasn’t talking about Patrick, I don’t think she had any regrets about his departure. She handled it in such a way that his return would be out of the question, even if he should want to at some time in the future.

    • zac says:

      I find his statement quite shady

  5. Carol says:

    If Patrick felt he was just ‘grinding it out on GA’ for about $10 million a year, then it was time for him to move on to something else and not phone in a performance.

    Shonda was likely not referring to Patrick so he should have said no comment.

    I don’t like Shonda but I do admire her success. Also I have heard that Patrick is a real asshole and his cast mates don’t seem to be missing him.

    • Lorna says:

      Ive only heard rumors of his alleged behavior when his character was killed off. Idk

    • Stacy says:

      I have no idea why he was killed off, nor do I care. In regards to his “grinding it out” comment though, I can completely understand what he was saying. In TV, after you’ve done the pilot or maybe the first season, everything is a “middle”. Everything is being stretched out, trying to keep creative twists so viewers don’t get bored. When you do a movie or a mini-series, there is a specific end in mind and you are working towards that goal. There’s less filler, and since you’re working towards the end you can consider your character’s motivation for different scenes, etc…

    • Temperance says:

      He’s definitely not a jerk, but he overstayed his interest in the show due to loyalty to his fans. He doesn’t miss the show, so I’m sure he doesn’t care either way.

  6. He probably knows that he’s not the only person on the list that she killed over an actor issue so he doesn’t take it that personally. Shonda has a lot of power right now and she doesn’t have to put up with people whose goals don’t align with hers.

    Patrick was creatively tired and couldn’t live up to the role. With Ellen not leaving, Shonda either had to kill him, or pretend that the MerDer love wasn’t that great.

  7. Danny says:

    It was Tim Daly on “Private Practice.” It’s no secret.

  8. Dennis says:

    No, don’t think she was talking about Dempsey. Always thought it had to be Tim Daly.

  9. Kate M. says:

    I always assumed it was Columbus Short on Scandal. His off-screen behavior didn’t give Rimes much of a choice.

  10. Ingmar says:

    I still don’t think she was talking about PD. She always made it pretty clear it was really hard for her to kill off Derek. While I agree that it’s sad for Mer/Der fans (and I was one of them), it has been obvious to me for a while that PD was just phoning it in. He didn’t seem to enjoy himself, so I only consider it a good thing that he left. Not happy with his death? Well..he could have left Meredith, but that would have been given a lot of criticism either…at least this way his love for Meredith…is what we remember. I am glad she did what she did and I am glad for PD he’s happy now aswell. It certainly did the show good imo..

  11. Luis says:

    Dude, “Grey’s” rescued you from obscurity! A simple “Thank you, Shonda,” would have sufficed!

    • Lucifer says:

      It’s pretty clear the reason all of Shonda’s former employees never or rarely say nice things about her, and they certainly don’t thank her. She’s an authoritarian with an ego that could rival Donald Trump. It’s been no secret that she’s very difficult to work with and she does not like when actors give their opinions on the character they play. That’s why you see Pompeo, Washington, and Davis kissing her chunky butt in interviews all the time – they don’t want to get on her bad sides.

      • Jamie says:

        I’ve seen a number of interviews with former employees like Chyler Leigh, Kate Walsh, Sandra Oh, etc., who have said plenty of nice things about her. Just because you are reading the interviews with the bitter employees who were fired doesn’t mean that Shonda Rhimes is anything like Donald Trump.

    • Lorna says:

      Really? He resigned up for more seasons multiple times. Had talk d d about his gratitude many, many tines in interviews. He stayed a lot longer than originally signed on for. Dude has a life, ok? I miss Derek, but PD has the right to pursue other interests.

  12. Ricky Lee Jones says:

    So much for the show flopping after McDreamy’s demise. LOL. Hows that boycott going?

    • Lucifer says:

      I never say anyone call for an actual boycott, just plenty of upset people and many of them saying they personally would not watch any longer. And there has been a slight dip in the ratings this season compared to the last so there were clearly some viewers who stuck to their word.

  13. Mike says:

    isn’t there an old adage about a producer saying about an unruly actor ‘hit him with a bus?’ (meaning kill their character off having them hit by a bus); that’s sure how George died.

  14. tomus225 says:

    I never liked the Derrick character. Was glad Mer is free of him and no longer had to defer to him or his career.

  15. evlin karasenty says:

    Patrick dempsi must be return to anatomia greys he and meredit are accelent couple and ther games is very good
    Riggs games is fall he not good from meredit
    Derek and meredit are love story very very good
    Shonra derek not dead who is dead is her twins brother he was in coma e
    And now you must doing sumething to game back derek.