Ellen Pompeo Revealed She Stayed on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for the Money Despite Toxic Work Environment

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Grey’s Anatomy is now such a staple part of so many people’s lives since it debuted all the way back in 2005. And with excitement brewing for Season 17, it seems as though there’s no slowing down.

But recently Ellen Pompeo, who plays Dr. Meredith Grey, revealed that not everything about the show was as perfect as it seemed.

These claims have really shocked fans…

Grey’s Anatomy has been in the spotlight for fifteen years now.

The medical-based drama has been on our screens for well over a decade and has racked up an impressive sixteen seasons, with the seventeenth coming very soon. But it seems as though not everything was as perfect as it seems…

When it comes to keeping audiences entertained, many shows fall flat after a strong third season. I mean, there’s only so much you can squeeze out of something before it’s dead, you know?

But what’s so different about Grey’s Anatomy?

Directed by Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy tells the story of Dr. Meredith Grey (played by the very talented Ellen Pompeo) and portrays the hectic life of healthcare professionals as they balance their own lives as well as the lives of patients.

With sensitive issues such as the ones tackled in the show, it is important for the producers and the directors to be able to keep the storylines raw and realistic without putting off viewers.

Audiences didn’t just fall in love with the characters they saw on screen, they also fell madly in love with the actors that played them.

Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital has now become a part of everyone’s life, despite it being a fictional location. But that’s the impact of good TV shows, they manage to create that all-important bridge between stories and reality.

We always knew we were getting the seventeenth season after Rhimes extended the sixteen-year contract when we reached Season 15, but we didn’t expect that they would switch it up to reflect real-life events.

After a turbulent few months, it seems as though the show is already preparing to take on the sensitive topic that has destroyed our planet. But they have their own reasons for doing so.

Some of our favorite characters had found themselves in the middle of some pretty disastrous scandals, seeping from their personal lives into their professional ones. And the same can be said for some of the actors in real life too…

But at the end of the season, she confessed to her illegal activities when she realized someone else (DeLuca) was taking the fall for it.

That’s right, she posted a (slightly stereotypical) article about the inequalities of the medical system which left the hospital’s rep in the dirt. I wonder who’s going to be the one to get them out of that.

Teddy and Owen are navigating their lives as new parents, Amelia and Bailey are both pregnant (awks!) and Richard and Alex are starting their new jobs at another hospital desperately in need of help.

And for Season 17, they’ve decided to crank it up a notch by discussing the coronavirus pandemic.

The news comes after the casts of Grey’s Anatomy have already spoken out about it.

Kevin McKidd, who plays Owen Hunt on the drama had recently released a charity single in which all the profits were donated to food banks who are trying to reach vulnerable people in society.

“At Station 19, we were lucky enough to have about 300 of the coveted N95 masks which we donated to our local fire station,” said showrunner Krista Vernoff. “They were tremendously grateful. At Grey’s Anatomy, we have a backstock of gowns and gloves which we are donating as well.

“We are all overwhelmed with gratitude for our healthcare workers during this incredibly difficult time, and in addition to these donations, we are doing our part to help them by staying home.”

Recently, Ellen Pompeo revealed that she only stuck by her role for the money, because the working environment was pretty toxic.

Pompeo is one of the world’s highest paid actresses, with each episode banking her an average of 575,000 dollars.

The actress shares 3 children with her husband Chris Ivery and lives a very stable, some may refer to it as “lavish”, lifestyle thanks to the success of the show.

On an episode of Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast, she said this:

“I made choices to stay on the show – for me… a healthy home life was more important than a career.”

“I didn’t grow up with a particularly happy childhood,” she added. “So the idea that I have this great husband and these three beautiful children and a happy home life was really something I needed to complete, to close the hole in my heart.”

“…And not chase creative acting roles. I don’t like chasing anything ever, and acting to me, in my experience, was a lot of chasing. Although I produce and it’s the same kind of thing, I think I do it from a place of, I’m never that thirsty because I’m financially set.”

Pompeo told us that she got into the industry really late compared to other actors who manage to save up enough money and then quit if they don’t want to continue. “I got in the game late. I didn’t start Grey’s until I was thirty-three, and then I started having kids at forty,” she said. “If I started the show when I was younger, [at] twenty-five, I probably would have dipped out when I was thirty-one, thirty-two, [when] my 6-year contract was up, but my age had a lot to do with it.”

At many points, she said she felt like quitting but knew she had to focus on the bigger picture.

“The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, a really toxic work environment. “After season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera,” she went on. “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.”

But you know what? Ellen Pompeo did what she had to do and has now been on Forbes Rich List multiple times because of it. Keep scrolling to see what other stars of the show are getting up to these days…