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Grey’s Anatomy Showrunner Addresses New Cast Departures, And Ellen Pompeo Rumors

Meredith in the hospital

There are long running TV shows, and then there's ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 14th season on the air, and is showing no signs of slowing down. While fans can look forward to the spinoff Station 19 and will likely get at least two more seasons of Grey's, it isn't all good news. Actors Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew are leaving the series after this season, bringing characters Arizona and April to a close in their wake. Series lead and producer Ellen Pompeo recently fired back after a story implied her recent raise may have been a factor in the departures, and now showrunner Krista Vernoff has addressed both situations directly. She said,

The suggestion in the Deadline article that our cast changes are in any way related to Ellen Pompeo's salary renegotiation is wrong and hurtful and misguided. It smacks of an old, broken, patriarchal notion that women must be pitted against each other and that one woman's success will be costly to others. Ellen Pompeo has not only advocated passionately for her fellow cast members, she has taken the time to educate women worldwide as to how to advocate for themselves and that must not now be twisted.

It looks like Krista Vernoff is going to bat for her star, and clarifying how Ellen Pompeo had nothing to do with Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew's upcoming departure from Grey's. She also didn't mince words, and directly called out the publication whose coverage seemed to make such a stir.

The story in question didn't expressly accuse Ellen Pompeo of having a hand in the upcoming Grey's Anatomy departures, but reference of her groundbreaking deal for two more seasons was mentioned in the same paragraph. It's this indication that Pompeo took offense to, and now Krista Vernoff herself has taken to Twitter to set the record straight.

Since news of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew's exit first became public, Grey's Anatomy and the network have maintained that it was a creative decisions. Both actresses have since taken to Twitter to thank the fans, and aren't making it seem like they were forced out for any reason. Krista Vernoff also addressed this in her Tweet, saying:

The decision to make changes to our cast was a creative one. The only thing as a constant on Grey's Anatomy as Ellen Pompeo is our penchant for reinvention. It is a part of our success and what keeps the show exciting. We love these actresses and we love these characters and it felt true and right creatively to wrap up their stories. And that is the whole story.

I believe that is what the kids like to call a mic drop. Krista Vernoff has addressed all the drama up front, and seems to have set the record straight once and for all. While fans will be sad to see Arizon and April leave Sloan Grey Memorial Hospital, they've both had very long tenures on Grey's Anatomy. Perhaps both the actresse and writers have reached their limit with the two ladies, making way for new stories and characters.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch. Plus, check our Amazon premiere list and superhero premiere list to ensure you don't miss a single episode.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.