“Grey’s Anatomy’s” fate totally depended on Ellen Pompeo. Shonda Rhimes herself said so.
Speaking at the Vulture Festival on Sunday, May 22, Rhimes said that she is one of those who were surprised with Sara Ramirez’s decision to exit from the show.
Ramirez is the third main cast who made the decision to leave “Grey’s Anatomy,” following Patrick Dempsey and Sandra Oh. Rhimes however said that compared to the other actors written off from the show, Ramirez’s exit “wasn’t a big, planned thing.”
“I had a different plan going,” Shonda, 46, shared, as reported by Wetpaint. “And when Sara came in and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ I was lucky that we’d shot the end of the season with her going to New York.”
With one big star after another deciding not to renew their contracts, one would naturally wonder when Rhimes will suddenly decide to just stop writing one more season.
Rhimes gamely said that if Ellen Pompeo decides to exit the show, she leave the show as well. “I’m always constantly amazed when Ellen (Pompeo)’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m ready to re-up,’” she says. “That’s always amazing to me. Our pact with each other is that we will go together. When she goes, I go.”
For her part, Pompeo is one loyal “Grey’s Anatomy cast” and Shonda Rhimes’ fan. Even though fans have criticized Rhimes for removing Dempsey from the show, Pompeo still found it in her to defend the show runner.
In her interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pompeo said Rhimes did not really have any choice over the matter. “I completely understood their anger, angst, and pain,” Pompeo said of the fan reaction. “Nobody wanted to lose Patrick — everybody knew how valuable he was to the show. It wasn’t a choice that we had. We both signed a two-year contract to renew, so it was a situation that came up very abruptly and nobody expected it to happen.”
“What upset me was how Shonda [Rhimes] was attacked,” Ellen added. “I understood their anger. We were sad to lose him, too, but what really disappointed me was the way that people attacked Shonda as if she had some choice…I felt pretty protective of her in that moment and I was pretty disappointed that she got the blame for something that really wasn’t her fault at all.”