Life was apparently not healthy in the early days of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Ellen Pompeo, one of the stars of the hit ABC series, sat down with “Empire” actress Taraji P. Henson for Variety’s Actors on Actors feature.
Henson asked Pompeo if, during her 15 years on the show, “Was there any moment where you were like, ‘Child, I want off this bus?'”
“There were many moments. It’s funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off. The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment,” said Pompeo.
There were definitely some issues.
In 2007 Isaiah Washington left after he used a homophobic slur while arguing on set with fellow cast member Patrick Dempsey.
T.R. Knight said in 2009 that he exited the show after a “breakdown of communication” between himself and its creator, Shonda Rhimes.
The following year his good friend Katherine Heigl left after having earlier withdrawn herself from Emmy consideration because she said she hadn’t been provided the material “to warrant an Emmy nomination.”
In 2014, Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter she had “no Heigls” on the set of her other hit ABC drama, “Scandal.”
Pompeo, who stars as Meredith Grey for whom the show is named, said she stuck it out because she had children and needed to take care of her family.
“But after Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera,” she said. “It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years.”