WTF?! ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo admits that ABC wouldn’t pay her as little as $5,000 more than Patrick Dempsey, even though the show is all about Meredith Grey!
Patrick Dempsey, 52, a.k.a. Dr. Derek Shepherd, leaving Grey’s Anatomy in 2015 was a game-changer for Ellen Pompeo, 48. Even though her character’s name is in the title of the show and the show is centered around Meredith Grey, Ellen revealed to THR.com that she never made more than her male co-star while he was on the show. “For me, Patrick [Dempsey] leaving the show [in 2015] was a defining moment, deal-wise,” she said. “They could always use him as leverage against me — ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick’ — which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, ‘I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.'”
Ellen is now the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama, and that’s after signing a new deal to be paid $575,000 per episode. That’s over $20 million per year! The deal takes Ellen through the show’s 15th and 16th seasons, which haven’t been confirmed by the network just yet. The show is currently in its 14th season and still going strong.
However, Ellen admits that she had to have a serious talk with the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, 48, about making some major changes. “What happened is that I went to Shonda and I said, ‘If you’re moving on to Netflix and you want the show to go down, I’m cool with that. But if you want it to continue, I need to be incentivized. I need to feel empowered and to feel ownership of this show,’” she said in her interview with THR.com. Ellen, you’re a hero.
Grey’s Anatomy season 14 returns Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Ellen was paid less than Patrick? Let us know!