“Everybody needs to read THIS article. @EllenPompeo is a brilliant badass,” Rhimes tweeted on Wednesday, January 17.
As previously reported, Pompeo spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her 14 seasons on the ABC medical drama — including her battle with the network for more money and attempting to negotiate with former costar Patrick Dempsey.
“They could always use him 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,” she told THR. “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.”
Pompeo continued to explain that Rhimes inspired her to stick with the show, and go after what she deserves.
“Things have changed, though. In Shonda finding her power and becoming more comfortable with her power, she has empowered me,” the 48-year-old actress, who will now earn $575,000 an episode, explained. “So, she got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power. Now, what did that look like? It looked like her letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show, letting me be a co-executive producer on the spinoff and signing off on the deal that the studio gave me, which is unprecedented.”
She continued, “Maybe it’s just that as women, that’s our problem; a guy wouldn’t have any problem asking for $600,000 an episode. And as women, we’re like, ‘Oh, can I ask for that? Is that OK?’ I’d call Shonda and say, ‘Am I being greedy?’ But CAA compiled a list of stats for me, and Grey’s has generated nearly $3 billion for Disney. When your face and your voice have been part of something that’s generated $3 billion for one of the biggest corporations in the world, you start to feel like, ‘OK, maybe I do deserve a piece of this.’”