According to a report from Salon.com, Ellen Pompeo’s struggle on the set of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy went beyond her battle to increase her pay relative to Patrick Dempsey. Speaking with Taraji p. Henson on Variety, Pompeo became honest about how the set of the series was fraught with some difficult issues.
The star described some of the problems as “serious, serious culture issues.” Ellen claims the toxic environment while working on Grey’s Anatomy was part of the reason why she fought tooth and nail to become a producer on the very same show. She hopes to turn it around.
According to Ellen, for the first ten years of the show, there were some serious cultural problems. Pompeo admits the moment she realized something needed to change was when her daughter was born, she said, “I had someone other than myself to think about.”
Pompeo said that her mission behind the scenes was to turn the series into not only a great production for audiences, but also for the people who work behind the camera. Pompeo claims when Patrick Dempsey left in the 11th season, she chose to stay there.
Both the network and the studio didn’t believe it was possible for the show to continue without a male lead, however, it was Ellen’s mission to prove it could continue. Grey’s Anatomy just finished its 15th season and it was renewed for another two more seasons.
Thus far, Pompeo is scheduled to continue working with Grey’s Anatomy until the 17th Season. As it was noted above, Ellen said in the same interview that she was furious when she discovered Patrick Dempsey was making more money than her on the series, despite him being the lead character of the production.
Ellen isn’t the only actress to complain about the wage gap issue. Michelle Williams once complained that Mark Wahlberg was paid $1,000,000 to refilm scenes from All The Money In The World after Kevin Spacey was replaced with Christopher Plummer.
Reportedly, Michelle Williams offered to do it for free, and Mark Wahlberg demanded to get paid.