Top 10 Behind the Scenes Grey's Anatomy Scandals



Top 10 Behind the Scenes Grey's Anatomy Scandals

VOICE OVER: Elise Doucet WRITTEN BY: Victoria Toltesi
The behind the scenes scandals/drama from Grey's Anatomy set was a soap opera in itself. We'll be looking at the dramatic scandals involving the cast of the popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy. This set has more drama than, well, a show produced by Shonda Rhimes. MsMojo ranks the biggest scandals from the set of Grey's Anatomy. Are there any Grey's scandals we missed? Let us know in the comments!
This set has more drama than, well, a show produced by Shonda Rhimes. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 behind-the-scenes scandals/drama from the “Grey’s Anatomy” set.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the dramatic scandals involving the cast of the popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. We’ll be talking about major plot points of the show, so consider this your spoiler alert!

#10: Ellen Pompeo Confesses Backstage Drama

Let’s start this list off by laying the groundwork for the drama - and there is a lot of it. Star Ellen Pompeo isn’t the kind of actress to stay silent, and in 2013 she got candid with The New York Post about the feuds and fights within the cast. This drama was rooted in rapid rises to fame and, of course, to salary. ABC would allegedly leverage the cast’s salaries against each other. Pompeo even wanted to negotiate her salary with Patrick Dempsey, according to what she told The Hollywood Reporter. In 2017, Pompeo became the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama, which in turn created new drama, with reports that her salary meant other actresses were fired, though both ABC and Pompeo deny these reports.

#9: The Disappearance of Dr. Hahn

When characters leave the show, it’s usually quite obvious - ending in a tearful goodbye or a dramatic death. With Dr. Erica Hahn however, she seemingly just disappeared into the night, last seen getting into her car after fighting with her girlfriend Callie. Fans and actress Brooke Smith were equally mystified by the abrupt departure - though Smith hinted that she thought that perhaps people weren’t comfortable with her character’s lesbian relationship and that’s why she was written out. Shonda Rhimes has of course denied these rumors and said the magic just wasn’t there with the character. That doesn’t take away the sting of being fired for Smith however, or to curb the disappointment of the fans who shipped Hahn and Torres.

#8: The Petition Against Jesse Williams

Though this ensemble cast is capable of generating plenty of gossip, sometimes the drama comes straight from the fan base. Jesse Williams has been a huge advocate for black rights, and in 2016 he won a BET Humanitarian Award. His acceptance speech was controversial, focusing on police brutality towards African-Americans. Some fans didn’t appreciate his stance and created a petition to have him removed from the show, arguing that his speech was racist and unprofessional. The petition received 28 thousand signatures, while other petitions fighting to keep him on “Grey’s Anatomy” circulated. Williams remains on the show and Rhimes has praised his speech, citing Shondaland Rules against the petition.

#7: Shonda Rhimes vs. ABC

Shonda Rhimes doesn’t take guff from anyone: she didn’t listen to 28 thousand people who wanted Jesse Williams gone, and she definitely wouldn’t listen to a few ABC execs. As the story goes, before Grey’s Anatomy aired, the execs were constantly trying to get involved in the editing room, attempting to tell her what to cut or how to shape the series - the President of ABC Steve McPherson allegedly even swore at her! Rhimes however, fought them at every turn, keeping the integrity of the show - cutting only one scene - and it paid off. The first episode had 16 million views, the network became more supportive and the rest is history.

#6: Eric Dane’s Departure

Eric Dane experienced a lot of personal drama throughout the show: in 2009, a video was leaked of him, his wife and ex-Miss Oregon Teen USA in the buff, while in 2011, he had to check himself into a rehab facility for a painkiller addiction. Even after all this personal struggle, it seems that Dane would have continued as Dr. Mark Sloan had the the show not made him feel like “a piece of meat”. Apparently, he felt that it just focused on his looks rather than anything else - his nickname was McSteamy, after all. We guess sometimes you don’t know what you have in a character until he’s gone, and man did the show make his death emotional.

#5: Resentment Towards Kate Walsh’s Success

There is nothing worse than achieving success and then having someone else to ruin it for you. Kate Walsh, who played Dr. Addison Montgomery, got her very own spinoff called “Private Practice” in 2007. Rumor has it that her co-stars weren’t exactly supportive and gave Walsh the cold shoulder, since many of them felt like they deserved a show too Whether or not these rumors are true, there’s no denying that the series was a hit, running for 6 seasons before it ended in 2013. It even had a few crossover episodes with Grey’s Anatomy and her old cast-mates, and won itself a few awards along the way.

#4: T. R. Knight Leaves

T.R. Knight went through a lot of personal drama while playing George on Grey’s Anatomy, but what we really want to talk about is the drama surrounding his departure. Apparently, the actor felt like he wasn’t getting enough screen time. This led to a communication breakdown, first with the writers and then ultimately Shonda Rhimes. He wasn’t happy with George’s cheating storyline in season 4 and then he only got 48 minutes of screen time in season 5, leaving fans wanting a whole lot more George. In the end, Knight wasn’t fulfilled with his work so George got a dignified yet traumatizing death.

#3: Patrick Dempsey, the Alleged McDiva

MerDer was Grey’s dream couple. Fans rooted for them from the very first episode, but backstage drama brought the dream to a dramatic end. Insiders and tabloids suggest that Dempsey became a major McDiva, showing up late to set and not bothering to memorize his lines. It’s also rumored that he started an affair with someone on the Grey’s set, which Shonda didn’t approve of. He was initially suspended, getting very little screen time, but he was eventually fired from the show altogether. Shonda decided that the best way to write Derek out of the show cleanly was to kill him. Dempsey’s reps deny these rumors but McDreamy died regardless, and in doing so… broke many hearts.

#2: Katherine Heigl’s Attitude

Katherine Heigl has a reputation in Hollywood for having a bit of an attitude, and it didn’t make her many friends on the set of Grey’s Anatomy - least of all Shonda Rhimes. In 2008, Heigl withdrew her own name from the Emmy Awards since she didn't feel like the writers gave her Emmy nomination-worthy material. Talk about a giant slap to everyone who worked hard to make the show such a huge success! She stayed on the show for another 2 seasons, but Shonda didn't take kindly to the comment and basically used the actress’s name as a bad word in later interviews.

#1: Isaiah Washington & the F Word

No… he didn’t say the f-word you’re expecting, he said one that is much worse. While actor Isaiah Washington was having an argument with Patrick Dempsey, he reportedly called T.R. Knight a homophobic slur that begins with the letter “F.” First off, that word is terrible, but to make matters worse, the controversy apparently pressured Knight to come out sooner. Washington didn’t stop there, however, continuing to say the word in interviews and to state that he loves “gay” as if it excused his behavior. Washington was soon fired from the show, though he came back 7 years later for one more episode. There were mixed reactions from the fans, but Shonda believed Washington had changed. She also felt it was necessary to close off Cristina Yang’s story, part of which was intertwined with Washington’s Dr. Burke.