‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Meredith Never Should Have Won the Catherine Fox Award

As the name implies, Meredith Grey is the backbone of Grey’s Anatomy. However, while many series make no qualms about giving their namesakes special treatment in service of the plot, Grey’s has done an excellent job at letting the ensemble rise, as well.

However, this means that when the series awards Grey over others, it feels artificial and forced. When Grey won the Catherine Fox award in 2018, it showed that while others may be more deserving, Grey will always get the writers’ advantage. 

What is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’? 

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ELLEN POMPEO | Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images

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Grey’s Anatomy helped kick off the stranglehold that Shonda Rhimes has in the television world. While it came when television was already inundated with medical dramas, Grey’s set itself apart by focusing on doctors’ personal lives while giving audiences a healthy dose of melodrama to go with it. 

While the show is, as the name implies, about Meredith Grey, it’s become so much more. Dozens of other doctors, patients, hospital workers, and side characters have been introduced through 16 years, but Grey is always at the center. Sometimes, this means that the series gives her undue praise because of her place in the plot. Her Catherine Fox Award helps explain this.

What is the Catherine Fox Award?

According to the Grey’s Anatomy fan Wiki, the Catherine Fox Award, which was first named after Harper Avery, has been a part of the series since its inception. Avery was never a significant player on the series, but his legacy was a constant presence. All of this changed, however, when sexual assault allegations were piled on him. However, rather than ditch the award, they named it after a more deserving namesake, Catherine Fox, the doctor who oversaw the presentation.

During one ceremony in 2014, Fox, then Catherine Avery, said this of the award. 

“Surgery is the boldest and most fearless of the healing arts. The Harper Avery Award celebrates those who have destroyed obstacles, altered the direction, and invented the future of how we are to live and heal and thrive. The surgeons in this room are redefining medicine for generations to come.” the award’s future namesake told the audience.

While doctors may not clock in to get awards like athletes, awards like this show that doing a job well has its perks, even if it’s just an award. However, fans do not always like where the trophy goes. 

While a show that’s been on for as long as Grey’s has is bound to break some rules and change things up, many fans believe that the makers went too far in giving Meredith the award in 2017. The award has a long and sordid past that goes back several decades. However, many fans believe that the writers got lazy in making the show’s relative newcomers receive the award when, presumably, there are more deserving people out there. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Should Meredith have received the award? 

As u/Spritti33 put it on Reddit: ” The writers of the show changed the rules for winning the award in favor of Meredith to let the main character shine. If they had done it right, Cristina would have won the award. Being taught by a world-class surgeon doesn’t qualify someone to become department head as quickly as the “newer generation” did. Derek and co were taught by world-class surgeons as well, but still had to work up their way to get the reputation they had and ultimately become department heads.”

It makes sense and might even be supported by the fact that Meredith didn’t accept the award when Fox gave it to her. Many others agreed in the thread and wished that the show, which doesn’t always try to provide a realistic portrayal, grounded this particular plot. While Meredith is an accomplished surgeon, Cristina’s character had the skill and story to justify it. 

The namesake of a show will always get the most attention, and Grey’s is no exception. However, while fans are willing to give the show some leniency when it comes to the show’s penchant for melodramatic storylines, they demand some realism regarding the characters’ motivations. In that case, makers failed by giving Meredith the award when Cristina deserved it more. 

However, on the other side of this coin is that fans are talking about this at all. This shows the power of the medical drama and why it’s lasted nearly two decades. Fans might not like all of the stories and plot-twists, but they keep coming back for more.