Years after Katherine Heigl called out “Grey’s Anatomy” for their long work hours, she’s finally getting the backup she would have appreciated back then. The actress came under fire in 2009 for calling “Grey’s Anatomy” “cruel and mean” for making her work a 17-hour shift.
The backlash at that time tagged Heigl as “ungrateful” and “difficult to work with.” The 43-year-old was also branded a diva, mainly due to her previous situation with the Emmys the previous year. Heigl reportedly asked for her name to be taken out of the Emmy nominee’s list because she felt her performance wasn’t worthy of the honor.
Heigl’s co-star on “Grey’s Anatomy” and one of the lead characters recently came out to support the actress. In a new episode of her podcast, Ellen Pompeo revealed that she agreed with Heigl and the reactions to the actress’s comments were because the comments were ahead of their time.
Pompeo Said Heigl Was Right About
Pompeo doesn’t think Heigl was wrong for speaking up on “Grey’s Anatomy” extended working hours. During a Wednesday episode of her podcast, “Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo,” the “Station 19” actress brought up Heigl’s previous public comments criticizing the medical drama.
While conversing with her guest star Kate Walsh, she mentioned the long work hours actors have to endure on the set of movies and how hard it was on both the cast and crew. Walsh is a regular guest on the podcast and will reportedly make a guest appearance in “Grey’s Anatomy” May 5th episode.
Pompeo said, “I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working, and she was 100% right.” The “Grey’s Anatomy” star added that if Heigl had spoken up now, she would have been seen as a hero, but unfortunately, she was ahead of her time. The result of Heigl’s complaints was being “slammed” and called “ungrateful.”
Pompeo Said Heigl Was ‘Ballsy’ For Comments
While conversing with Walsh, Pompeo said that at the time, Heigl was “100% honest” and on point concerning how long they worked then. She added, “And she was f–king ballsy for saying it. And she was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying.”
Pompeo’s character, Meredith Grey, is still a part of “Grey’s Anatomy” despite the medical series being in its 18th season. Besides her acting role, Pompeo is also a co-executive producer of the drama.
Pompeo revealed that she was able to reduce her filming hours after years on the show. She also mentioned how young actors were prone to working long hours for a movie and offered some insight into why.
The Betr Remedies cofounder said, “Also, when you’re younger, you’re so excited to be there, and you’re so happy to be invited to the party that you’re willing to do whatever it is they’re asking you to do.” The actress added that this was an attitude the younger generations were improving on by setting work boundaries for themselves.
Heigl Said’ Grey’s Anatomy’ Work Time Was’ Cruel And Mean’
Heigl was one of the original cast members of “Grey’s Anatomy” when it was first released. The “Unbreakable” actress took on the role of Dr. Izzie Stevens from 2005 till she left the series amid some controversy in her sixth season in 2010.
In a 2009 interview on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” the actress complained about how long she was made to work during a session of “Grey’s Anatomy.” The “27 Dresses” actress described the move as “cruel and mean.”
She said, “Our first day back was Wednesday, and it was… this because I hope it embarrasses you. — a seventeen-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean.” The comments gained popularity mainly because a year earlier, Heigl withdrew her name from the Emmy nominations list for her performance in “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Heigl’s statement understandably upset the production team of “Grey’s Anatomy,” especially taking her withdrawal from the previous year’s Emmy list of nominees into account. After her outburst, sources alleged that the 17-hour work shift was because of the actress.
Heigl’s “The Ugly Truth” was released around that time, so she was unavoidably busy. The 43-year-old allegedly took around three days to promote the movie, which shuffled things a bit. Journalist Ken Levine noted, “.. the producers were kindly shuffling things so that she could go out and promote her new movie.”
In a later interview with Entertainment Weekly, Heigl admitted that she made a mistake in judgment when she gave out those statements. She said, “I allowed myself to be perceived that way because I was being whiny and I was griping and because I made these snarky comments.”
“So much about living life, to me, is about humility and gratitude. And I’ve tried very hard to have those qualities and be that person, and I’m just so disappointed in myself that I allowed it to slip,” she said. Despite the assumptions, the actress added that she was certainly grateful for her life and the opportunities awarded to her.
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