Ellen Pompeo Responds to Angry ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Over Unexpected Exits

Grey’s Anatomy has proved time after time that it can stay strong no matter who leaves the show. But that still doesn’t mean each exit hasn’t been heartbreaking or gotten flack. Part of the reason for the show’s fortitude is the star, Ellen Pompeo.

Pompeo is getting even bigger bucks now after negotiating what she’s worth. But after talking about that ordeal, it has made her an even bigger target when negative news comes out about the show. When the latest exits were announced, Pompeo had to make several statements to defend herself from rumors and fans.

So what did she have to say? Here are seven things to know about the latest dismissals from the show, including Pompeo’s response to angry fans over unexpected exits.

1. Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw are leaving Grey’s Anatomy

These two are leaving the show. | ABC

The show is sadly losing more of its cast. Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw are done with Grey’s Anatomy after Season 14. It looks like the reason for this is to change focus when it comes to storylines.

Co-showrunner Krista Vernoff said, according to Deadline:

The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew. As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.

Next: This is what Shonda Rhimes had to say about the exits.

2. Shonda Rhimes talked about the importance of losing these characters

Shonda Rhimes smiles while posing on the red carpet in a black dress.

Shonda Rhimes had this to say about their exit. | Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Producer Shonda Rhimes also gave a statement over the big news, telling Deadline:

Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV. I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family.

Next: Pompeo denies this rumor.

3. Pompeo denies suggestion that her pay raise is related to the exits

Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo denies reports that her salary impacted the co-stars’ exits. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In Deadline’s report, Pompeo’s pay was mentioned while announcing the news so some took it to mean her salary had something to do with the exits. The star responded to this by tweeting “Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against eachother on #shameonyounotme.”

She then followed up with tweeting “I’m a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don’t fall into that trap. This is above my pay grade.”

Next: This person also tweeted in support of Pompeo.

4. Krista Vernoff also tweeted in support of Pompeo

Meredith Grey stands in a white doctors coat and looks ahead

She’s getting support from her show runner. | ABC

Showrunner Krista Vernoff also backed up Pompeo’s denial of this with a tweet.

“The suggestion in the Deadline article that our cast changes are in any way related to Ellen Pompeo’s salary negotiation is wrong and hurtful and misguided,” she wrote.

Next: Pompeo responds to angry fans on Twitter.

5. Pompeo says Drew and Capshaw wouldn’t approve of the public ‘nastiness’ over the news

Ellen Pompeo says her co-stars wouldn’t approve of this reaction. | ABC

Apparently, fans still have it out for Pompeo after the news. She tweeted, “We R grateful all of you are so passionate but if you knew these two women the way I know them they would not approve of all this nastiness.”

She then followed up with, “They both are super shiny happy people. I know you’re angry but you’re representation couldn’t be further from who these women actually are.”

Next: An insider said this is what went into the decision.

6. An insider confirms the decision was made over storylines


The characters had run their course. | ABC

An insider told Us Weekly that there is less drama about the decision than what has been assumed.

Sarah and Jessica’s storylines had just run their course, and the decision was made to not renew their contracts. Both had expressed concern about on screen time,” said the source.

Next: One of the actresses reportedly wasn’t happy with her character.

7. Drew reportedly was unhappy about her character

She was reportedly not thrilled with her character. | ABC

Drew reportedly also raised concerns about where April was heading. “For Sarah, it was about how her character really wasn’t evolving,” a source told Us Weekly.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.

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