Ellen Pompeo Says 'Grey's Anatomy' Doesn't Need McDreamy
The show can and will go on.
When Patrick Dempsey's character, Derek Shepherd, died on Grey's Anatomy last season, fans were devastated. Many vowed to give up on the show despite having watched it for years. Ellen Pompeo, however, has some different ideas about what transpired.
In a candid interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pompeo explained that it's time to move on and trust that the show will continue to be as good as its viewers expect it to be. Although over 10,000 fans signed a petition on Change.org to bring McDreamy back, it's clear that will never happen.
After Cristina Yang, the always reliable and true soul mate of Meredith Grey, uttered those empowering words, she let the world know that there was a life beyond Derek Shepherd.
“When Cristina said that, Meredith realized that she had been taking a back seat to allow this man to get what he wanted,” Shonda Rhimes explained to EW. Rhimes has been very open and confident about her narrative decisions regarding Grey's Anatomy despite receiving a lot of criticism from fans.
“In an effort not to become her mother, she had tried too hard to become something less. What I loved about Season 11 was her saying, That's not who I am. It was so interesting for me to discover that audiences, especially women, are so conditioned to believe that there's a singular fairy tale that nobody stops to think that that might not be the definition of happiness. Meredith knew that already. We got to the point in the season when Meredith said, 'I can live without you, but I don't want to,' which for any woman is a very powerful statement. It means: You compliment me, but you don't complete me,” Rhimes stated.
Pompeo also explained that she was surprised and even offended by the insinuation that Grey's could not continue without Dempsey's character. In fact, the title of the show is a direct reference to Meredith Grey, yet the audience insists for the male lead's presence.
“Let's keep it really real for a second and say this is really difficult for my ego,” Pompeo explained. “It's okay! We all have one.” After looking around the roundtable at Kerry Washington and Viola Davis―the female leads on Rhimes' other hit dramas―Pompeo had more to say. “It's like, Annalise Keating carries the show, Olivia Pope carries the show,” she said, referring to How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal. “But somehow, Meredith Grey needs someone. Why can't I just be the lead of the show the way Annalise and Olivia can? Why can't I be on that poster by myself?”
Yeah, we hear you, girl! Here are a few thoughts that Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation might have about the situation: