Never underestimate the power of a TV fandom scorned! Days after Grey's Anatomy revealed the violent death of its lead character, Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), fans of the ABC series are utterly overcome with the stages of grief. Grey's may be hard-pressed to find a fan as devoted as Courtney Williams, though, who was inspired to start a Change.org petition — and get 15,000 fans to sign it! — in the wake of McDreamy's demise.
In the passionate missive, drafted to the attention of creator Shonda Rhimes, ABC, and Dempsey himself, Williams calls Rhimes' decision to ditch McDreamy "cruelty," and says that fans "are not sleeping nor eating because of this tragic turn of events."
"You do not have someone survive a mass murderer, a plane crash, A FREAKING PLANE CRASH, AND A crushed hand, as a neurosurgeon...just to kill them off on a BEAUTIFUL DAY!! Seriously? SERIOUSLY SHONDA?! SERIOUSLY MS. RHIMES!?!?!?!?!" Williams’ impassioned plea continued.
On the buzzed-about April 23 episode, McDreamy was hit by a truck while taking a call on the road — likely from Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) — and did not survive his injuries.
"It's like you've killed the President of Grey's Anatomy! The Fans are ready to serve you papers and charge you with the Patriot Act," argued Williams. “Oh, and don’t even get me started on how FINE you have him looking too! It's like you said, ‘we're going to have him get as sexy as ever...then kill him!'"
As of Monday, April 27, Williams had inspired more than 16,750 fans to join in her grief and beg ABC to reinstate McDreamy.
In a post-mortem interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dempsey, 49, called his character's demise "organic," but — like fans — he's still coming to grips with the loss. "It just sort of evolved. It just kind of happened. It really was something that was kind of surprising that unfolded, and it just naturally came to be," Dempsey said. "Which was pretty good. I like the way it has all played out."