Ellen Pompeo: Grey’s Anatomy star called out for ‘disrespecting’ Denzel Washington with ‘tantrum’ story

‘She used the story of that incident to paint him as the aggressor,’ one person wrote

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 01 October 2021 12:42
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Ellen Pompeo's ugly fight with Denzel Washington: He 'went ham on my ass'
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Ellen Pompeo is getting called out for “disrespecting” Denzel Washington.

The actor, who has played Dr Meredith Grey in the medical drama since 2005, revealed she locked heads with the Oscar winner when he directed an episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 2016.

According to Pompeo, Washington didn’t like the way she was improvising a scripted scene and “went ham on my ass”.

Pompeo told former co-star Patrick Dempsey on her podcast, Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo: “I was like, ‘Listen, motherf***er, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling? You barely even know where the bathroom is’.”

She claimed that Washington only agreed to direct the season 12 episode as “his wife is a big fan” of the series, adding: “Denzel’s a movie star, right? He doesn’t know s*** about directing TV.”

Pompeo said she refused to speak or look at Washington after the row, and told his wife, who visited the set later that day, that they had fought.

While Pompeo recalled the experience through laughter, the actor is being criticised for her response to Washington – and her decision to share the story almost 10 years later.

Ellen Pompeo is facing a backlash for sharing a story about Denzel Washington

“Ellen Pompeo sharing she disrespected Denzel Washington is the weirdest flex,” one Twitter user wrote, adding: “She had to know it was going to end in tears.” Another added: “Ellen Pompeo had the nerve to disrespect theee Denzel Washington and was brave enough to tell the world like we were gonna be like ‘aw you poor thing’?”

Someone else stated: “So Ellen Pompeo not only disrespected Denzel Washington on set, she used the story of that incident to paint him as the aggressor. Moreover, she also used it to drum up interest in the new season of her TV Soap Opera.”

Denzel Washington directed an episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in 2012

Another added: “Denzel Washington is notorious for being a consummate professional & beloved by everyone he works with. Never a bad story about him. Ever. The fact that he NEVER told this story tells you everything you need to know about him… and about Pompeo.”

Despite the story, Pompeo called Washington a “superstar” and said she has the “utmost respect” for him “as an actor and director”. She also described the experience working with him as “amazing”.

The Independent has contacted Pompeo and Washington for comment.

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