Be honest: what do you love most about Grey’s Anatomy?
For over 16 years, the show has brought a seemingly endless amount of drama, romance, and even action. But as it turns out, more drama was happening behind-the-scenes than onscreen. And the more you know about it may forever change how you look at the cast and the show.
Got your scrubs on? Good, because here are 10 messed up things about the cast of Grey’s Anatomy.
Eric Dane left the show after going to rehab
Eric Dane exited the show in 2012, after his character Dr. Mark Sloan was written out with a plane crash. But what led to the decision? It depends on whom you ask.
At the time, NBC executives made it sound like a simple matter of tightening the budget. But the decision came after the actor checked into rehab for an addiction to painkillers in July 2011.
We can’t know for sure whether this controversy made Rimes want to give Dane the boot. But Dane seems to have held a grudge against her for years. In 2016, he tweeted, “I could give no [expletive] about @shondarhimes opinion.”
Katherine Heigl made Shonda Rimes mad
Katherine Heigl typically plays loveable characters onscreen. Behind the scenes, though, she got on the bad side of show creator Shonda Rimes.
For example, in 2008 she insulted the writers when she removed her name from Emmy consideration because she claimed she wasn’t “given the material to warrant a nomination.” And this was one of the apparently many incidents that seriously angered Rimes.
Later, when describing the set of Scandal to The Hollywood Reporter, Rimes threw shade at Heigl, saying, “There are no Heigls in the situation… I don’t put up with [expletive] or nasty people. I don’t have time for it.”
T.R. Knight left the show after a dispute over his character
When beloved characters get written out of TV shows, fans often wonder what really happened. That was certainly the case with T.R. Knight, whose character Dr. George O’ Malley was suddenly hit by a bus and then died at the beginning of season six.
So, what happened here? Simple: Knight wanted to leave the show because he reportedly felt the writers didn’t give him enough screentime. That may or may not be true, but Knight seemed happy to escape the set.
He later told Entertainment Weekly, “My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about O’Malley]. And with respect, I’m going to leave it at that.”
Message received, 007.
Patrick Dempsey was reportedly a nightmare to work with
For many fans, Patrick Dempsey was the face of the show. As the fan-favorite character Dr. Derek Shepherd, “McDreamy” lit up the screen with every scene.
But apparently, things weren’t so awesome behind the scenes. Page Six claims that Shonda Rimes removed Dempsey from the show in 2015 because he often acted like a “diva” on set. And Radar Online reported that Dempsey further angered Rimes by allegedly having an affair with a member of the show’s staff.
All of this may or may not be true, but it seems Dempsey’s character died because the actor kept annoying Rimes with his behavior.
Ellen Pompeo thought the ABC executives were ‘nuts’
Ostensibly, Rimes wanted to get rid of the backstage drama by getting rid of Dempsey. But to hear Ellen Pompeo tell the story, that drama only got worse.
Pompeo was actually close to Dempsey in real life, and she tried to take a break after his departure in the form of a vacation to Italy. But Pompeo told Hollywood Reporter that ABC’s executives kept pestering her about who should replace Dempsey.
“They’re calling me, going, ‘What do you think of this guy?’ ‘What do you think of this guy?'” she said. “I was like, ‘Are you people [expletive] nuts?'”
Furthermore, Pompeo was shocked by how fast the studio and the network felt they had to replace a male love interest. “The ink wasn’t even dry on [Dempsey’s] exit papers before they rushed in a new guy,” she said.
Jesse Williams was accused of cheating on his wife
Thanks to his handsome face, many fans imagined their own romantic adventures with Jesse Williams. Unfortunately, his real-life romantic exploits ended up both messy and heartbreaking.
When Williams announced a divorce from his wife in 2017, fans were shocked. Rumors quickly gathered that he ended his marriage of 13 years because of an alleged affair with Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly. The two had worked together on the video game Detroit: Become Human.
While Williams and Kelly both denied he cheated on his wife, they were confirmed to be dating three months after his divorce, in July 2017. The relationship didn’t last long, though. By January 2018, People reported the couple split.
The cast became jealous of Kate Walsh
With a show as successful as Grey’s Anatomy, a spin-off is inevitable. And Kate Walsh, who played Dr. Addison Montgomery, got the nod to head up the spin-off Private Practice in 2007.
But, to put it mildly, the rest of the cast was jealous. One source claimed to Star (via Today) that the other stars “each thought they’d be the one chosen to get their own show, and now they’re giving Kate the cold shoulder.”
Maybe these stars who play doctors can get a transfusion because it sounds like Walsh’s success turned their blood cold.
Isaiah Washington got fired for using a slur
It’s only natural for actors to butt heads on the set. However, Isaiah Washington took things too far and caused a major controversy.
In 2006, while Washington argued with Patrick Dempsey on set, he allegedly used a gay slur. Co-star T.R. Knight claimed the slur was directed at him, although Washington denies this. However, he made a public statement to People that read, “I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set.”
However, his attempt at damage control backfired when he repeated the slur backstage at the Golden Globes, while defending himself. “No, I did not call T.R. a [expletive],” he said. Following this bizarre backpedal, he was not invited back to Grey’s Anatomy.