Watch the interview here
Ellen Pompeo is speaking up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In early March, Pompeo denied on Twitter that her new $20 million salary on Grey’s Anatomy had anything to do with co-stars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew leaving the ABC series, and DeGeneres gave Pompeo the opportunity to elaborate on Thursday’s episode.
“It’s absolutely not true,” said Pompeo. “I mean, I’m not involved in these kinds of decisions. However, there’s a few problems that you encounter doing a show for 14 seasons. One of them is the writers have a really hard time creatively thinking up new stories for all these characters. I think we have 16 regular cast members, and it’s always sad when we lose people — whether they want to go or they don’t want to go. It doesn’t make it any easier.”
The actress sparked a conversation earlier this year when she opened up about her salary negotiations and how advocating for herself led to a larger salary after being paid less than her male co-star.
“I think there are certain moments where it’s important to be really truthful about our pain and about our struggles,” said Pompeo, who noted how DeGeneres did the same with her landmark sitcom Ellen. “I think that sometimes you have to go through painful things to just be an example.”
Pompeo also encouraged more support among women in the workplace. “I think that it’s important for us to not pit women against each other, and to really dispel the notion that women are always victims,” she said. “You don’t have to pit us against each other, we’re not enemies, we do lift each other up and support one each other, and we’re not victims. We’re very strong, and we’re capable of many, many things.”
Watch the full preview above.
The Ellen Degeneres Show airs weekdays. Check your local listings.