In 2015 Grey’s Anatomy had been on screen for 10 years. It was still one of the most popular shows in the world, giving us medical miracles, drama and lots of trauma (mostly due to creator Shonda Rhimes killing off our favourite characters).
But for those 10 years, its cast had been turning up to work in a “toxic” environment, according to Ellen Pompeo.
In an interview with Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson for Variety, Pompeo – a.k.a Dr Meredith Grey – said there were times when she considered leaving the series.
“The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behaviour, really toxic work environment,” she explained.
But the 49-year-old mother-of-three said that she stuck around in order to provide for her family.
After season 10 there were major changes behind and in front of the camera (we miss you, Sandra Oh) which she said helped lead to a change.
"After Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera. It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years. My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes.
"Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story. That’s what’s kept me. Patrick Dempsey left the show in Season 11, and the studio and network believed the show could not go on without the male lead. So I had a mission to prove that it could. I was on a double mission."