‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Ellen Pompeo Revisited Katherine Heigl’s Past Comments on Working Conditions: ‘She Was 100 Percent Right’

Ellen Pompeo has starred on Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Meredith Grey since the medical drama premiered in 2005. The ABC actor recently revisited some statements from former co-star Katherine Heigl that described the cast’s work schedule as ‘cruel’ and ‘mean’.

Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Katherine Heigl aired her ‘Grey’s grievances to David Letterman

Heigl was in high demand for film roles in 2009 and had to juggle her schedule to make time for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy. Starring with Gerard Butler in the 2009 film The Ugly Truth, Heigl appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and discussed her unorthodox work schedule.

“Our first day back was Wednesday,” she told Letterman of Grey’s in July 2009, according to Newsday. “It was — I’m going to keep saying this because I hope it embarrasses them — a 17-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean.”

 Network execs weren’t pleased with Heigl’s public comments and issued a statement of their own on the topic.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson said, as reported by NBCLosAngeles.com. “People are going to behave in the way they choose to behave. There are so many people who work so hard on Grey’s, and all of our shows, without any notoriety and those are the ones I’d be concerned about, people who feel like they’re being criticized or looked down upon.”

Heigl ended up leaving Grey’s Anatomy in 2010.

RELATED: Meredith or McDreamy: Which ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Has the Highest Net Worth?

Ellen Pompeo gave Katherine Heigl a shout out

Pompeo invited Grey’s Anatomy alum Kate Walsh onto her podcast on April 20 and praised Heigl’s previous comments.

“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working and she was 100 percent right,” Pompeo said on Wednesday in her podcast, “Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo”. “And had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she’s ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours and of course, [it was like] let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful.”

The Grey’s Anatomy star confirmed Heigl’s description of their working conditions and credited her for taking a stand.

 “When the truth is, she’s 100 percent honest and it’s absolutely correct what she said,” Pompeo remarked. “She was f****** ballsy for saying it — she was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying!”

Kate Walsh weighed in

Walsh is scheduled to reprise her Grey’s Anatomy role as Dr. Addison Montgomery this season. She put in her two cents on industry expectations, noting how rigorous demands can be when working on a hit series.

“There’s nothing natural about [the filming process],” Walsh said. “There’s nothing human about it… It’s made for a machine, it’s as if we’re a camera or a mic that just goes and goes and goes… And it’s not conducive to any kind of healthy habits.”

RELATED: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Alum Jeffrey Dean Morgan Says He Pleaded With Shonda Rhimes to Keep Denny Duquette Alive