As the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) demands better working conditions for crew members across film, TV, and Broadway, former Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl has voiced her support for the movement while also taking a moment to point out that she was basically tarred and feathered for bringing up the same concerns over a decade ago.
While none of the reports coming out of the pending IATSE strike have vindicated Heigl’s specific complaints, they do highlight an overall problem in Hollywood with pushing cast and crews too far with unreasonably long working days. Heigl was famously blasted for complaining to David Letterman in 2009 that the Grey’s Anatomy cast was forced to work a 17-hour day, which she labeled “cruel and mean.”
“Some of you may remember over ten years ago I was very vocal about the absurdity of the working hours crews and actors were being forced into by production,” Heigl wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “Even Diane Sawyer interviewed me and not so kindly informed me ‘no one feels sorry for you.’ I very publicly and for many many years after got my ass kicked for speaking up.”
After detailing some of the unsafe conditions she personally witnessed, Heigl brought things around to support IATSE for taking a stand:
So this post is not for me. It is for the crew. It is for my family from another mother. It is for the champions and support systems and talented bad asses that I have the privilege of working with. I stand with IATSE. It is time for reasonable and fair work conditions, wages and hours to be more then just a priority they need to be the norm. Period. To all the crews on all the sets all over this great big world of ours. I support you. I stand with you. I thank you. Not one show. Not one movie. Can exist without you.
You can see Heigl’s full post below, which just a heads up, continues in the comments. She’s got a lot to say: