‘Grey’s Anatomy:’ Ellen Pompeo Posts A Meredith-George Reunion on Instagram And Fans Are Loving It
Ellen Pompeo knows what fans of Grey’s Anatomy need and when they need it. After last Thursday’s episode revealed the fate of OG character Alex Karev (played by Justin Chambers), diehard followers of the show bluntly expressed their distaste for how show creator Shonda Rhimes chose to say goodbye to the beloved character.
Perhaps attempting to soothe the public outcry, Pompeo posted a pic with a former fan fave from the show’s original cast.
Actor T.R. Knight portrayed Dr. George O’Malley on the ABC medical drama from 2005 to 2009. His character was killed off the show when he was hit by a bus, in order to save an innocent bystander.
Like many Grey’s departures, Knight’s exit had some controversy surrounding it. The actor felt his character was getting edged out of the show, where he had only 48 minutes of screen time in the first nine episodes of Season 5 in comparison to 114 for Sandra Oh’s character, Dr. Christina Yang. Yet rather than inquiring about the cut in face time for O’Malley, Knight instead asked Rhimes for an early release from the show.
“My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George],” he said in 2009, according to Entertainment Weekly. “And with respect, I’m going to leave it at that.”
On and off-camera disagreements
In 2007, Grey’s Anatomy was making its mark as the hottest show on television yet also making headlines for some off-screen drama. Actor Isaiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke) was rumored to be difficult and reported to have an on-set scuffle with co-star Patrick Dempsey (Dr. Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd), where Washington used a derogatory term towards Knightley regarding his sexuality. As a result, Washington was fired and Knight publicly came out, though Knight had implied that Rhimes wasn’t thrilled about him making the announcement at the time.
“I think she was concerned about having my statement come out so close to the [initial] event,” he told Entertainment Weekly in 2009.
Yet Rhimes disagreed with his assessment. “I said, ‘If you want to come out, that’s awesome. We’ll totally support that,’” the Grey’s executive producer said. “And then he went away, thought about it, and came back and said, ‘I’m going to make this statement.’ I remember saying to [fellow executive producer] Betsy Beers, ‘This is our proudest day here. T.R. got to come out, and I got to say to him that it wouldn’t affect his character.’”
Knight also wasn’t a fan of the direction the Season 4 storyline was taking for O’Mailley, where his character cheated on wife Callie (played by Sara Ramirez) with pal Izzie (played by Katherine Heigl). Upon his choice to leave the show, Heigl had originally tried convincing Knight to stay.
“I didn’t think it was the right decision,” Heigl said. “I felt like some of the problems could be worked through. But by the time it came to fruition, I was [glad] for him because he was ready to go.”
Yet Knight was certain his time on the show was up. “There just comes a time when it’s so clear that moving on is the best decision,” he said.
Pompeo’s perfect timing
With fans still reeling from the way Grey’s producers wrote Alex Karev out of the show, Pompeo apparently knew what would ease their pain and posted a pic with a close pal.
“I’m just happy we met when we were fetuses. ❤️” Knight wrote on his Instagram.
Naturally, fans were ecstatic for the Mer-George reunion. “I’m crying,” one follower wrote. “awww George!” another posted to Pompeo’s account. “okay I’m not crying, you guys are!” a fan commented.
Knight’s Insta page also received plenty of love. “I MISS GEORGE SO MUCHHH,” one fan posted. “I’m not crying you are this is so freakin cuteeee I love George O’Malley,” another wrote. “IM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW,” another user gushed.
While Grey’s Anatomy viewers are still nursing their wounds from the loss of a favorite cast member, Pompeo’s post throwing back to the original ‘Grey’s days’ crew is sure to take the sting out, at least for a little bit.