Denzel Washington clearly doesn’t have time for airing behind-the-scenes drama to the masses, as perfectly evidenced by the way he responded to a recent interview question about Ellen Pompeo.
Upon being asked by Variety about a notorious spat he was said to have had with Pompeo in 2016 while he was guest-directing one of the four thousand episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Washington simply offered a “slight grin.” “No, no,” he said, claiming he doesn’t remember that day at all. “But it’s all good.”
That’s what we like to call a full Mariah Carey, a subtler version of the iconic phrase, “I don’t know her.” I like to think Denzel clasped his hands together softly and chuckled to himself warmly after this interview, delighted with his response. I, too, am delighted with you as ever, Denzel.
In the event that you’ve forgotten the spat Pompeo once detailed, let’s revisit. During an episode of her “Tell Me” podcast that aired in September, the actress told former co-star Patrick Dempsey about an argument she had with Denzel on set. Pompeo claimed that Washington, who was directing an episode titled “The Sound of Silence,” went “HAM” on her “ass” during a scene where she ad-libbed a line.
“He was like, ‘I’m the director. Don’t you tell him what to do,” recalled Pompeo on the podcast, before adding that she pushed back on Washington by responding with: “Listen, motherfucker, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling? Like you barely know where the bathroom is.”
It seems likely that this whole alleged spat would’ve played out a hell of a lot differently had the shoe been on the other foot, with Denzel saying, “Listen, motherfucker.” Imagine the headlines. But putting aside Pompeo’s wildly outsized reaction, long live unproblematic king Denzel.