Alfre Woodard Defends Katherine Heigl’s Reputation: ‘She Gets an Absolutely Bad Rap’

Don’t come for Katherine! Alfre Woodard defended Katherine Heigl’s bad reputation within the industry on the Thursday, September 29, episode of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.

When a viewer called in to ask Woodard, 63, if her former State of Affairs costar was difficult to work with, Woodard only had nice things to say about Heigl, 37.

“She gets an absolutely bad rap,” Woodard responded, reminiscing on the one-season NBC drama that was cancelled in 2015. “It is just total BS. She is a wonderful person. She is lovely. She is actually one of the most professional people I’ve ever worked with, and she has a big heart.”

Heigl, who’s expecting her third child with husband Josh Kelley, was accused of being a Hollywood mean girl by Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey’s Anatomy — a show that Heigl played on for six seasons. Of the show, Rhimes told the Hollywood Reporter in an October 2014 interview that “there are no Heigls in this situation,” which allows the production schedule to run smoothly. “I don’t put up with bulls--t or nasty people. I don’t have time for it.”

And in a separate story published in September 2013, THR interviewed various producers and staffers who cited the 27 Dresses actress’ demeanor as the source of high production costs. At the time, she was being considered for another television project before a network changed its mind. “On many levels, she would have been perfect for the role, but all of us said, ‘She's not worth it,’” a producer told the news outlet. 

That, according to Woodard, is how rumors begin. “If one person says something, anything we see on the internet — people think it’s the truth,” she continued on the show. “So you know how hard of a time our kids have at school with all that bullying bulls--t.”

In a June 2014 Facebook interview, Heigl addressed those hard-to-shake accusations. “Yeah I’ve heard those too … honestly I don’t think I am … nothing makes me more uncomfortable than confrontation or hurting someones feelings and I would never, ever actively do so on purpose,” she wrote. “Of course just like any human being I’ve made mistakes and unwittingly or carelessly spoken or acted but I always try to make any wrong right. That doesn’t mean I won’t stand up for myself by drawing boundaries and asking to be treated kindly and respectfully but I don’t do that with any rude or unkind intentions just with the same strength and honesty I think every one of us is entitled to.”

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