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Entertainment Weekly


Ellen Pompeo is 'grateful' her salary story has been 'empowering' for women

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Ellen Pompeo is proud of how her own salary negotiations have moved others.

The Grey’s Anatomy star joined Jimmy Kimmel on his late-night show Thursday to discuss the widely discussed Hollywood Reporter cover story heralding her as “TV’s $20 million woman.”

Pompeo admitted she was nervous after doing the interview that it wouldn’t be received the way she intended. “I have quite a big mouth and I’m honest to a fault, which in print can get you in trouble sometimes,” she told Kimmel. “When things are printed it’s not in the same [context] in the way you said it, and I’ve gotten myself in trouble in the past with things I’ve said.”

She says in the weeks since the interview dropped, she’s been grateful to see the response it’s received and how it has moved others. “It was received in the way I intended it to be, which was as an empowering story for women and to be very honest about my faults and my shortcomings,” she said. “Because I think there’s a lot of blame, especially right now people are blaming people and there’s a lot of finger-pointing, but there’s less people owning up to their side of things, and I wanted to do a truthful interview and talk about my road to my own empowerment, but also mistakes that I’ve made along the way.”

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More than anything, she says the number of women who’ve approached her about the story has “been very moving.” “As much as we can point the finger at other people and say ‘you don’t give us’ or ‘you don’t treat us fairly,’ we also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, ‘Did we ask? Did we step up and have the gumption to ask for what a man would,” she questions. “We have to own our part of it and sometimes we’re too shy, we’re too afraid to be seen as difficult to really speak our mind, so I’m grateful for all of this.”

Pompeo ended the interview with a shout-out to Disney CEO Bob Iger and how he sets an example from the top down. The actress continues to be the face of Grey’s Anatomy in its 14th season and has signed a new deal for a potential 15th and 16th seasons.

Watch the clip above for more. Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.