March 9, 2018 4:19 pm

Ellen Pompeo denies accusations her $20M ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ paycheque led to costars’ firings

Actress Ellen Pompeo speaks onstage during the 'Grey's Anatomy,' panel discussion at the ABC Entertainment portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Aug. 4, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Ellen Pompeo is denying accusations that her recent salary negotiation had anything to do with her Grey’s Anatomy costars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew being let go from the show at the end of the current season.

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After news broke yesterday that both actresses would not be returning to the medical drama for Season 15 (which has yet to be officially renewed), Deadline’s reporting of the casting decision made mention of Pompeo’s new two-year contract with the show which has made her the highest-paid actress on a prime-time drama.

The outlet did not state that the decision to drop the two actresses from the show was a direct result of Pompeo’s raise, but the actress seemingly interpreted it that way.

READ MORE: Jessica Capshaw, Sarah Drew to exit ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after Season 14

Pompeo addressed the accusations on Twitter, writing, “Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against eachother on #shameonyounotme.”

“I’m a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don’t fall into that trap. This is above my pay grade,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.

READ MORE: Ellen Pompeo signs on for more ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ at $20M per year

Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff also tweeted a response to the Deadline article, writing, “It smacks of an old, broken, patriarchal notion that women must be pitted against each other and that one woman’s success will be costly to others.”

She called Deadline’s suggestion that the actresses were fired because of Pompeo’s salary renegotiation, “wrong and hurtful and misguided.”

Vernoff also added that “the decision to make changes to our cast was a creative one” and that Pompeo has “advocated passionately” for fellow cast members.

“The only thing as constant on Grey’s Anatomy as Ellen Pompeo is our penchant for reinvention,” she wrote. “It is a part of our success and what keeps the show exciting. We love these actresses and we love these characters and it felt true and right creatively to wrap up their stories. And that is the whole story.”

Drew and Capshaw also addressed their Grey’s Anatomy departure on Twitter yesterday.

Capshaw, who plays Arizona Robbins, wrote: “For the past 10 years, I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins, but also being madly in love with playing her. Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job. She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television.”

Her message continued: “Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever. I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me. I am sad to see her go, but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster. With a heart full of love, Jessica.”

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Drew also took to Twitter to post a message to her fans shortly after the news broke of her exit from the show.

“Thank you for all of the love,” she wrote. “I know you’re sad. I’m sad too. I haven’t really had the time to process this information. I’ve been with it for less than 48 hours, so I’m not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later. For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet. And the really good news (for me, at least) is that I’m here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey’s family all this week and next, so I get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade. For that, I am grateful.”

Deadline has since published an update to its story, clarifying that, “there is no such connection [between the renegotiation and the exit] that we are aware of. Because this has become an issue, pitting women against each other on International Women’s Day, we are making it clear.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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