‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Izzie Did Terrible Things — But So Has Every Other Main Character

One thing is clear about the Grey’s Anatomy fan base: they have strong feelings about the show. Of course, with 17 seasons (and, fans hope, counting), there would have to be a lot of emotional investment to keep a series on the air. The writers at Grey’s Anatomy seem to have been able to keep their audience hooked. 

One example of that is a controversial figure who is still talked about over ten years later. Izzie Stevens, played by Katherine Heigl, left the series during the sixth season, and people are still upset about a few of her choices. But some fans don’t think that’s fair. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: What happened to Izzie?

Katherine Heigl as Izzie on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Katherine Heigl as Izzie on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Scott Garfield/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Izzie was a part of Grey’s anatomy when it debuted in 2005, and according to Cinema Blend, she was a fan favorite at first. She won an Emmy for her role in 2007, and everything seemed to be going well for her and the show. 

But the next year, Heigl announced that she’d withdrawn her name from consideration for the Emmy Awards, saying that she didn’t feel like she’d been given the kind of material that deserved it. People saw this as unfair criticism of the Grey’s Anatomy writers, and they weren’t impressed.

Soon, there were rumors about problems behind the scenes at the show. The tension continued to grow, and midway through the sixth season, Heigl abruptly left. 

Her sudden departure forced the writers to come up with a storyline that quickly shattered her relationship with Alex. It also left many viewers unhappy. 

Bad behavior isn’t unusual on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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Maybe because of all the controversy around Heigl’s exit, Izzie is still remembered in negative ways. People dwell on her mistakes, like the time she cut Denny’s LVAD wire, and especially the way the character left the show. 

But according to Screen Rant, even the most beloved characters keep the drama high with some terrible decisions. For example, Derek once took credit for a trial that he and Meredith once worked on together. Alex once posted copies of Izzie’s modeling pictures, making fun of her for putting herself through medical school that way. Mark was pretty arrogant and betrayed his best friend, Derek, by having an affair with his wife. 

Clearly, no one on Grey’s Anatomy is a saint. And some fans don’t think it’s fair that Izzie is the one who gets singled out for disapproval. 

Fans are surprised by ‘how much hate Izzie gets’

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Recently, a discussion on Reddit dug into the criticism of Izzie’s choices, compared to some of the other characters on the show. 

“Based on the things other characters get away with, I’m surprised how much hate Izzie gets,” one viewer said. “Yes, she did bad things, but let’s not act like Alex or Mark didn’t. S1-S2 Izzie is my favorite character from the show.”

Others agreed, pointing out that her abrupt departure made it hard for her character’s storyline to end well.

“What made Izzie different from other characters that did bad things is they were there to redeem themselves. Alex and Mark both spend seasons naturally rebuilding their character but Izzie just kind of…bolted when her character was most disliked.”

“I loved Izzie too, I think every single character had their flaws and that’s what makes the show so good,” another said. “If everyone was perfect and did everything the way we think they should, what kind of show is that???”

“Same,” a fan agreed. “I love her like obviously she made some questionable choices (they literally all did), but Izzie was a kindhearted, great doctor, and a fantastic friend.”

When Heigl left the show so abruptly, it made it hard for the writers to create a satisfying end to Izzie’s story. It probably didn’t help that she upset the writers on her way out the door. But as the series seems to be nearing the end, many people are remembering characters that have left. And for some fans, they still remember how great Izzie was at the start of the show, and they don’t think the way it ended is the whole story.