By Kristen Baldwin
June 17, 2019 at 12:30 PM EDT
  • TV Show

Grey’s Anatomy recently wrapped its 15th season, but the show is still breaking new ground. In an intensely emotional March episode titled “Silent All These Years,” Jo (Camilla Luddington), Teddy (Kim Raver), and Dahlia (Sophia Taylor Ali) help a sexual assault survivor named Abby (Khalilah Joi). This week on EW’s The Awardist podcast, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff and producer-writer Elisabeth R. Finch take fans behind-the-scenes of that episode and why they felt it was so important to tell a story like Abby’s.

“[The] Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey Ford hearings [happened], and we were inspired to want to say something about consent,” explains Vernoff. “So I turned to Elisabeth Finch and said, ‘I heard you had a pitch about an Army of Awesome,’ which was this hallway of women.” Finch came up with the idea for the Army of Awesome — in which female staffers at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital line the hallway as Abby is wheeled into an exam room — after a Writers’ Guild of America-sponsored tour of the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center. “They treated every single person who came through their doors as an individual, and tailored their treatment to [them],” says Finch. “I was in watching our doctors at Grey Sloan figure out how to do that for a patient on the fly.”

To hear more from Vernoff and Finch — including why season 15 of Grey’s was their “season of love,” and how they deal with cranky fans online — listen below. (The interview begins at the 29-minute mark.) You can also listen and subscribe to The Awardist podcast at Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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