‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Are Still Furious with Owen for Being Awful to Cristina

Since 2005, the drama and relationships on Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy have been stirring the hearts and minds of fans and its characters have been the cause for fan theories, debates, and shipping. Rhimes has expertly woven together a set of characters that continue to engage audiences, even after over a decade and 16 seasons.

It’s pretty clear that the writers working on Grey’s Anatomy are very good at what they do, with long-running plots and three-dimensional, complex, characters. On top of its success with the general populace, Grey’s Anatomy has received praise from critics and a large number of awards.

With such a long-running plot and engaging characters, it thus makes sense that fans have formed pretty strong opinions on aspects of the show. From medical decisions that happen on the show to relationships between characters, fans have gone on social media to discuss their thoughts on the show. So what character has fans angry years after his offense on the show?

How long has ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ been on the air?

KEVIN MCKIDD as Dr. Owen Hunt
KEVIN MCKIDD as Dr. Owen Hunt | Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy is actually one of the longest running scripted primetime shows, with continual success. It’s even being renewed for a 17th season. Over the years, it’s gone through several cast and character changes, but the premise, setting, and principal character have stayed the same.

The show takes place at the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (originally the Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital) and started off focusing on the lives of various interns and residents in the hospital. However, as the show has continued for years, these characters have advanced in their careers. The principal character, Dr. Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) started out as a surgery resident but advanced to chief of general surgery.

The show balances the medical work that happens at the hospital with the interpersonal drama between the characters and the ways in which their work and the high expectations of their careers impact them.

Cristina Yang and Owen Hunt

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Throughout the seasons, Grey’s Anatomy has progressed to growing an ensemble cast on top of its original characters. One of these initial characters, Dr. Cristina Yang, formed a relationship with a newer character, Dr. Owen Hunt.

Yang started out as a surgical intern and progressed to becoming a cardiothoracic surgical fellow, while Hunt enters the hospital as a trauma surgeon. The relationship is rocky, though. Hunt’s trauma from his time in Iraq leads to him physically harming Yang.

Hunt also starts treating Yang poorly in their workplace, as he’s afraid of seeming like he’s playing favorites. There’s a love triangle with a new chief of cardiothoracic surgery that Hunt brings in, and Hunt harms Yang’s career and education due to his fragility.

However, the two end up married, and attempt to make the relationship work through therapy. Unfortunately, Hunt is a poor husband for many reasons, and the two divorce.

Even though they continue to have an off and on relationship after the divorce, Yang eventually gets over him, and is able to progress in her career despite the setbacks caused by this man.

Why do ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans hate Owen so much?

One specific plotline did especially anger fans, though. It’s established early in the show that Yang does not want children, but Hunt does — and he continually attempts to pressure Yang into having kids and is too fragile to handle the fact that she took control of her body by getting an abortion. On the show’s subreddit, fans pointed out how poorly Hunt handled his feelings.

One fan wrote: “Imagine being a full-ass MD/head of trauma/chief of surgery whatever and still not understanding how a woman isn’t just a vessel for a baby.”

Another said:

“Agh Owen makes me so mad. He literally knew exactly what Christina wanted, and then MARRIED her under the hope she would have changed her mind. Like yeah a lot of people do change their mind, but Christina def won’t change her mind. Like he faked support during her choice and then shamed her for the rest of their relationship AND in front of their friends…. smh. I really liked them together but after Owen pulled that, it left a sour taste in my mouth. I can see his point of view too, but it’s not fair for him to have led her on for months after what happened. I can understand it was a big deal for him, so he should have been clearer about that.”

It’s pretty clear that Dr. Owen Hunt was just not a likeable character. Fans are glad that Dr. Cristina Yang left him and progressed in her career, unhindered by a man who wanted to force her into having children she didn’t want. And it’s another testament to the expert writing of Grey’s Anatomy.

While abortions are often taboo subjects due to society’s misogynistic hangups, Grey’s Anatomy was willing to discuss abortion as a good choice for a woman who doesn’t want to be pregnant, while also portraying those who would shame Dr. Yang for her choice. Especially now, this writing is important.