Ellen Pompeo Says the Set of Grey's Anatomy Was 'Really Toxic'

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In an interview for Variety with Taraji P. Henson, Ellen Pompeo says working on Grey’s Anatomy really sucked for a decade, but she stayed for the money.

In the interview, Hensen asks Pompeo if there were times in the show’s 15 seasons when she wanted “off this bus.” Pompeo said there certainly were:

“There were many moments. It’s funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off. The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment. But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family.”

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She went on to add that, as a 40-year-old woman in Hollywood, she worried she’d never again be able to find the kind of steady work and substantial paychecks the show offered, even if the work environment was less than ideal:

“At 40 years old, where am I ever going to get this kind of money? I need to take care of my kids. But after Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera. It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years. My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes. Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story.”

I fully admit that I have never seen Grey’s Anatomy and only know the show through the Isaiah Washington and Katherine Heigl scandals, as well as stories speculating about why Patrick Dempsey left early. Someone, please explain this “hallucinated ghost sex” alluded to by Vanity Fair. Did I miss something great?

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