Ellen Pompeo on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Pay Dispute: Catt Sadler, Debra Messing and More Celebs React

The stars are rallying behind Ellen Pompeo after the actress unveiled equal pay disputes she has faced while working on Grey’s Anatomy.

As previously reported, the Emmy winner, 48, spoke candidly about advocating for a salary that paralleled costar Patrick Dempsey’s during his time on the show in a profile published by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, January 17.

Ellen-Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo attends the 300th “Grey’s Anatomy” Episode Celebration on November 4, 2017, in Hollywood, California. VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

“They could always use [Dempsey] as leverage against me — ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick’ — which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals,” Pompeo told the publication. “There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, ‘I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.’”

Several celebrities have taken to social media to support Pompeo, who has starred in the medical drama since it premiered on ABC in 2005.

“Mad respect for @EllenPompeo,” Catt Sadler, who left E! News last month after learning she was being paid less than cohost Jason Kennedy, tweeted on Wednesday. “#KnowYourWorth. And it’s not just about the dollar bills.”

Debra Messing also took to Twitter to defend the producer. “Thank you @EllenPompeo for sharing your thoughts, your fight, your achieved autonomy,” the Will & Grace star, 49, wrote. “An important contribution to the equality, respect and dignity discussion. Hope all the networks and studios are listening.”

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes has also backed Pompeo, tweeting on Wednesday, “Everybody needs to read THIS article. @EllenPompeo is a brilliant bada—.”

Scroll down for more celebrity reactions to Pompeo’s interview.

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