Ellen Pompeo Said That Patrick Dempsey Was Being Paid Almost Double Her Salary On Grey’s Anatomy
You know Grey's Anatomy where she plays Meredith GREY!?
The gender pay gap affects women in all sorts of careers, but over the past few years we’re learning more and more about the huge disparity in Hollywood and in the world of media.
In 2018, The Crown fans were surprised to learn that Matt Smith who played Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip in the show’s first two seasons, was paid more than Claire Foy, who played the Queen. And in the midst of the Times Up movement last year it emerged that Michelle Williams was paid less than 1% of what Mark Wahlberg made for re-shoots in All the Money in the World. He was paid $1.5 million and she got $80 a day. In 2017 Catt Sadler walked away from E! because her co-presenter Jason Kennedy made double what she did.
So unfortunately it isn’t a huge surprise – though that doesn’t make it okay – that Ellen Pompeo says that Patrick Dempsey was paid more than her.
The pair appeared as a couple for most of Grey’s Anatomy. Patrick played Derek Shepherd, and Ellen played Meredith Grey as in the Grey in the title of the show.
In an interview for Variety, Ellen said: “He was being paid almost double what I was in the beginning.”
She added: “He had a television quote. I had never done TV.”
“‘He’s done 13 pilots.’ Well, none of them have gone. I didn’t even realize until we were renegotiating Season 3. No one was offering that up.”
The actress explained that things have improved in many ways for Grey’s Anatomy over the last few years.
“There were many moments. It’s funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off. The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment. But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family.
“I now have three kids. And we turned the culture around. I’ve hit some marks that have made me feel accomplished in a different way. Shonda Rhimes has been amazing. She lets us be mothers. I don’t have to travel. I don’t have to go anywhere.”
The 49-year-old went on to explained the reason she stuck around for 15 seasons.
“Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story.
That’s what’s kept me. Patrick Dempsey left the show in Season 11, and the studio and network believed the show could not go on without the male lead. So I had a mission to prove that it could. I was on a double mission.”
She also spoke about the importance of standing up for yourself in times of disparity.
“My husband says, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” But if you have to walk, don’t be a victim. If you don’t get what you want, put your big-girl panties on …”
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