Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo And Katherine Heigl Have Rock Solid Reasons For Hating Izzie And George's Romance

Grey's Anatomy George O'Malley laughs with Izzie Stevens.

The friendship between Izzie Stevens and George O’Malley on Grey’s Anatomy was a thing of beauty. It probably had something to do with the fact that Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight were BFFs in real life. But because TV writers seemingly hate platonic boy/girl relationships, Izzie and George became romantically involved in Seasons 3 and 4. The ill-advised plotline was made even more cringe-worthy because George was married to Callie at the time. Rest assured, Grey’s fans, it wasn’t just you who hated that whole affair. A new BTS book has revealed Heigl, Knight and even Ellen Pompeo all had different — and very valid — reasons for disliking Izzie and George’s courtship.

The unauthorized book, How To Save A Life: The Inside Story Of Grey’s Anatomy by Lynette Rice, purports to tell the behind-the-scenes stories tied to the high-profile exits of a number of the series’ stars. The book's early promos immediately delivered some bombshell revelations about Patrick Dempsey “terrorizing” the Grey’s set, and the book also digs into Katherine Heigl’s much-publicized departure. An excerpt from the book, as obtained by The Daily Telegraph, reveals the moment Heigl realized Izzie and George’s relationship was doomed.

I was really excited about it in the beginning because obviously I got to work more with my best friend and that’s awesome. When I found out our little nickname was ‘Gizzie,’ I knew it was over. I was like, ‘We’re going to have to move on because that’s not hot.’

Seriously? What kind of couple name is “Gizzie”? Is that with a hard “G” like "Gah, that name sucks," or “G” like George? You know what, if it does sound like "Jizzy," I don’t want to know. Suffice it to say not all couples need such shipper names. We can’t all be “Marina.”

It wasn’t just Katherine Heigl, either. Ellen Pompeo, who's still going strong as the series lead ahead of Season 18, said she disliked the “Gizzie” pairing for a wholly different reason.

I loved Katie and T.R. so much that I didn’t really like seeing them together. We see them together all the time anyway, because they’re best friends. Katie and T.R. are adorable together. But, like, kissing? No! I don’t want to see my brother and my sister kiss.

George O’Malley himself weighed in with a very to-the-point reason for disagreeing with the relationship, with T.R. Knight saying beyond all else, it went against George’s character to cheat on his wife, Callie Torres (or, as I prefer, Callie O’Malley).

To play this character who fought so hard to be this moral person and all of a sudden be doing one of the most immoral things... how do you wrap your mind around that? I never made any demands, like, ‘You do this, or else.’ I was always very respectful. In any sort of creative process, there are going to be disagreements.

It’s true that actors can’t just play perfect versions of their characters, and one has to ride the wave of the character's arc, even when it rudely ends in a surprising death. But at least I feel more justified in my dislike of the whole “Gizzie” situation now that I know it was also unpopular to the actors themselves.

How To Save A Life: The Inside Story Of Grey’s Anatomy will be available to purchase on Tuesday, September 21, and don't forget to follow up a reading with Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, which premieres at 9 p.m. ET, Thursday, September 30, on ABC. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule so you don’t miss any of your shows' upcoming premieres.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.