Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo is shutting down buzz that her new $10 million-a-year salary precipitated the recently-announced departures of co-stars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew. “It’s absolutely not true,” the actress maintained on Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Pompeo went on to echo Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff’s earlier statement that the pair were being let go for creative — not financial — reasons. “I’m not involved in these kinds of decisions,” she told DeGeneres (watch video, above). “However, there’s a few problems that you encounter doing a show for 14 seasons. One of them is the writers have a really hard time creatively thinking up new stories for all these characters. I think we have 16 regular cast members. It’s always sad when we lose people — whether they want to go or they don’t want to go. It doesn’t make it any easier.”
Earlier this month, Vernoff vehemently denied that the two matters (Pompeo’s paycheck and the Capshaw/Drew news) were in any way connected. That intimation “is wrong and hurtful and misguided,” Vernoff wrote. “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.”