Ellen Pompeo is coming to the defense of her former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Katherine Heigl. During the latest episode of her podcast, Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo, the Grey‘s star praised Heigl for being “100 percent right” about the working conditions on the hit ABC drama. Unfortunately, when Heigl voiced her concerns back in 2009, she was lambasted by David Letterman and Diane Sawyer, both of who essentially brushed her off. Sawyer even went so far as to tell Heigl to her face that “no one feels sorry for you.”
As a result of the backlash (coupled with the coupled the controversy over her criticisms of Knocked Up and the writing on Grey’s Anatomy) Heigl watched her film career implode and has only recently seen vindication for highlighting the “insane” working conditions. Via Deadline:
“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working. She was 100 percent right,” Pompeo said to Kate Walsh, her guest on the podcast. “Had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she [was] ahead of her time. She made a statement about our crazy hours, and of course, let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful. When the truth is, she’s 100 percent honest and it’s absolutely correct what she said, and she was f*cking ballsy for saying it, and she was telling the truth, she wasn’t lying.”
Heigl hasn’t forgotten how she was treated for pushing back on the long hours for Grey‘s. In September 2021, she voiced her support for IATSE workers who were striking for better working conditions and expressed in an Instagram post that she finally felt “vindicated” after “I got my ass kicked for speaking up” years ago.