Ellen Pompeo’s Response To Arizona & April’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Exits Shuts Down Any Misunderstandings

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As Grey's Anatomy fans mourn the upcoming departure of series favorites Jessica Capshaw (Arizona) and Sarah Drew (April), the show's lead isn't here for anyone who tries to pit the rest of the cast against each other. And Ellen Pompeo's response to Arizona and April's Grey's exits proves this to be true.

According to Deadline, Capshaw and Drew will say goodbye to Grey's Anatomy at the end of Season 14. Both actors have been with the series for a number of years, Capshaw since Season 5 and Drew since Season 6. By the looks of the social media responses, this move isn't exactly sitting well with fans. With any sad news, searching for the source of blame, or the person at the helm of the decision-making process, may be inevitable. And with that, some of the fans' frustration was shot in Pompeo's direction.

While reporting on the Grey's casting news, Deadline's mentioning of Pompeo's recent pay renegotiation led some to believe that the show's star could have had a hand in Capshaw and Drew's departures. However, once Pompeo caught wind of the report's mention of her new deal and connected it to the unwarranted backlash she was facing, the actor hopped on Twitter to set the record straight. In a March 8 tweet, Pompeo wrote,

"I'm a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don't fall into that trap. This is above my pay grade"

In response, Deadline later updated their article, announcing that they in no way meant to cause a frenzy with the mentioning of Pompeo's deal. The site added, "There is no such connection that we are aware of. Because this has become an issue, pitting women against each other on International Women’s Day, we are making it clear."

Even still, Pompeo made a point to defend herself against all those speculating she had anything to do with it. And by simply saying "this is above my pay grade," Pompeo is letting anyone and everyone who's concerned know that the casting decisions were not up to her — at least this time around.

According to a Jan. 17 article from The Hollywood Reporter, Pompeo's renegotiation deal came at the heels of Patrick Dempsey's exit from the show. Even with her name in the title of the series, Pompeo was reportedly being paid significantly less than the actor, and she thought of leaving the show in protest once upon a time. Wise words from the show's creator Shonda Rhimes led the actor to fighting for what she thought she was worth, and as a result, Pompeo is now the highest-paid female actor on television.

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Pompeo signed a two-year, multi-million dollar deal for the show, giving her ownership stock in the franchise, a producer credit for the latter half of Grey's current season, and a co-executive producer credit for Shondaland's upcoming Station 19 series. However, Pompeo's big payday in no way suggests that she solely determines the fate of her colleague's characters, and seemingly pitting her against her female costars isn't something she's going to sit back and let happen.

Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff joined in on the debunking of any myths that Pompeo was to blame, and in a single tweet let everyone know that the decision to wrap April Kepner and Arizona Robbins' storylines was purely creative.

In Pompeo's tweet, she told her followers not to "fall into the trap," and that trap she speaks of was perfectly dissected in Vernoff's social media statement. It makes sense for fans to be pretty distraught over Arizona and April's exits, and it's normal to want to find out who's to blame. But to place such blame on Pompeo is unfair, to say the least — especially when the basis for so many online arguments revolves around her advocation for equal pay and her worth.

It's nice to see Pompeo sticking up for herself. And her doing so while refusing to put others down is a lesson that many others can take away from this scenario.