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The moment Ellen Pompeo called out a magazine mid-interview.

When Ellen Pompeo walked onto the set of the all-women panel interview she was filming for Net-a-Porter she noticed something that made her feel uncomfortable. There were hardly any people of colour in the room.

She held her tongue at the time – as did fellow actress Gabrielle Union. But when the on-camera discussion turned to issues of racial representation she decided to call out Porter magazine for what she saw.

“This day has been incredible, and there’s a ton of women in the room, but I don’t see enough colour, and I didn’t see enough colour when I walked in the room today,” the Grey’s Anatomy star said.

Ellen wasn’t referring to the panel itself, which was also made up of Emma Roberts, Gina Rodriguez and Gabrielle Union, but of the crew behind the scenes.

Watch Ellen calling it as she sees it:

Video via Net-a-Porter

The 49-year-old said it was an example of a much larger problem that she sees across Hollywood and identifies as her duty to address whenever she comes across.

“And meeting with a director of another endorsement project that I’m doing, I said: ‘You know, when I show up on set, I would like to see the crew look like the world that I walk around in every day.’

“And I think it’s up to all productions to make sure your crew looks like the world we see.

“As caucasian people, it’s our job, it’s our task, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we speak up in every single room we walk into, that this is not OK, and we can all do better. It’s our job, because we’ve created the problem.”

 

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The impassioned comments elicited approving looks from both Gina and Gabrielle, who later explained that she too had noticed the lack of diversity on set, but had felt she couldn’t bring it up.

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“It wasn’t something that was lost on me but I didn’t have the bravery to call a thing a thing. Because there’s a part of me that felt lucky to be here,” the 46-year-old explained.

“I don’t want to appear as the ungrateful brown person.”

At this point, Ellen became emotional insisting that was why she felt so strongly about speaking up.

“And that’s why it is my job and that’s why I say we bear the burden, because they don’t feel comfortable and I’m happy to take it on.”

The magazine’s set had become the target of discussion after Ellen had previously said she called out the lack of diversity at her friend’s political-based celebration and at her daughters’ school.

“I wanted to make that school better and I love that challenge of having an ongoing conversation,” she explained. “And [I] pounded that door and pounded that door until I see the change that I want to see.”

 

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Ellen, who has three children with her music producer husband Chris Ivery, is known for her anti-racist stance and has previously called out the lack of diversity she saw within press groups at events.

In comments that were widely praised, Ellen declared that she would “make sure reporters who are people of colour get to come in and interview me” while speaking on a panel during a French creativity festival in June.

This latest interview also received positive feedback from men and women of all backgrounds on social media.

You can watch the full round-table here.

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