Even after 14 seasons and the departure of much of the early cast, the magic of Grey's Anatomy is still alive and well. Ellen Pompeo tweeted her support of Sandra Oh on Friday, and urged her 1.5 million followers to do the same, linking to a Vanity Fair piece promoting Oh's new show Killing Eve and calling her talent "otherworldly." That would already be a heartwarming gesture for a costar with whom Pompeo hasn't shared the screen in four years. (The Korean-Canadian actor left the series in 2014 after a decade on the show.)
But the action becomes all the more meaningful because of the content of the article that the actor who played Meredith Grey linked out to. It's titled "Sandra Oh’s Been Waiting 30 Years for a Show Like Killing Eve," and in it, Oh walks the fine line between gratitude for her opportunity and critique of the industry that so often withholds such opportunities.
"I can talk about the things that didn’t come my way that I think should come my way, but it’s just like—it’s a f*ckin’ waste of time," she told her interviewer. Instead, she's interested in diving into this new role, that of MI5 operative Eve Polastri on the BBC America series, and of using her platform and leverage to give others coming behind her access to the same opportunities.
It's a line very similar to the one walked by Pompeo of late, as she's gone public with her Grey's Anatomy salary negotiations and her struggle to be paid the same as Patrick Dempsey. In fact, the Killing Eve actor even commented on her former costar's very public battle, stating, "I totally understand and remember that struggle for her. It’s really good that she feels full circle about that. That she feels righted now."
But while she expresses happiness that Pompeo got what she wanted out of the Grey's negotiations, Oh stopped short of saying that she had the same perspective during her own negotiations on the ABC series. “I don’t see it the same way, in my experience... it’s complicated. It’s too complicated, you know what I mean? The best answer for that is Rashomon," she said, citing a film by Akira Kurosawa that explores one murder from the various perspectives of witnesses and suspects, all with their own separate accounts.
But the fact that their viewpoints don't align exactly is precisely why this show of support is so meaningful. Through their own experiences in the industry, Pompeo and Oh have discovered their own individual paths to success, each employing their own tactics to overcome their own obstacles. For the former, she was able to achieve her goals at Grey's, beginning to direct and produce. And for the latter, the five-time Emmy nominee had to leave the show and wait four long, inexplicable years for the next role to come along.
There are plenty of comparisons you could make between their disparate careers, but the one thing that both stars seem to have learned is that the path to success is wide enough for two to walk. The success of one woman shouldn't be at the detriment of another, but it would have been easy for either one of these women to come away with some resentment toward the other. But instead, they've lifted each other up, reflecting their own success, respect, and support back and forth at one another in a way that's incredibly refreshing, especially in an industry as competitive as this one.
It's exactly the kind of camaraderie that you'd expect to see between Doctors Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang, so here's hoping that Shonda Rhimes creates on Grey's has something to do with this feminist success.