A white actress with no memorable work outside of Grey’s Anatomy recently chose violence when she decided to share a tale about veteran actor Denzel Washington. The anecdote was wrought with white privilege and delicate white flower syndrome, and she probably should have kept it to herself.
Ellen Pompeo had former castmate Patrick Dempsey on her podcast Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo, Variety reported. Instead of discussing their memories or tenure on Grey’s Anatomy, Pompeo randomly brought up when she cussed out Denzel when he was a guest director on the hit series.
The award-winning star directed an episode from 2016 titled “The Sound of Silence.” It was Pompeo’s first season without longtime costars Dempsey and Sandra Oh.
In the episode, the actress’ character’s jaw was broken by an epileptic patient. Director and choreographer Debbie Allen tried to lift Pompeo’s spirits by hiring the veteran actor to direct the episode.
In the scene, the actor who broke her character’s jaw spoke too softly for Pompeo’s taste. Instead of staying in her lane, she thought she could do Denzel’s job better than him.
He checked her, and the caucasity ensued.
“He made this choice to speak very softly. And [Meredith] was pissed that [she] had to sit there and listen to this apology, and he wasn’t looking at [her] in the eye,” she said about the actor in the scene. “Again, we love actors who make choices, right? And I yelled at him, and I was like, ‘Look at me when you apologize. Look at me.’ And that wasn’t in the dialogue, and Denzel went HAM on my ass.”
Washington rebutted, “‘I’m the director. Don’t you tell him what to do.’”
Pompeo, entirely out of pocket, responded, “And I was like, ‘Listen, motherfucker, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling?’ Like, ‘You barely know where the bathroom is. And I have the utmost respect for him as an actor, as a director, as everything, but, like, yo, we went at it one day.”
Respect my ass.
After the disrespectful act occurred, the brazen actress doubled down and snitched to Denzel’s wife, Pauletta, when she visited the set.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, he yelled at me today. Yeah, he let me have it today, and I’m not okay with him, and I’m not looking at him, and I’m not talking to him,’” Pompeo recalled. She then chalked it up to the idea that actors will be actors, adding, “So we didn’t get through it without a fight, but, you know, that’s actors for you—passionate and fiery—, and that’s where you get the magic, and that’s where you get the good stuff. So it was an amazing experience, it really was.”
When Black Twitter got word of Pompeo’s violation, social media users aired her out.
“I was like, ‘Listen, motherf–ker, this is my show,'” Ellen continued. “This is my set. Who are you telling?” I wonder if she’d talk to Scorsese or Spielberg like that? https://t.co/QDaMTVtdn5
— @tiffanydcross (@TiffanyDCross) September 30, 2021
Ellen Pompeo really disrespected Denzel Washington and proudly told the world like we were gonna be on her side… pic.twitter.com/oZpmVoO6L4
— Shonnia Burton (@shonnia21) September 30, 2021
Ellen Pompeo: Haha I cussed at Denzel Washington and tried to humble him even though he was the director haha but we’re cool now🤪
— 🥣 (@pholanthropist) September 30, 2021
Denzel Washington: Hey folks I’m directing this ep, we’re gonna have a great time 👍🏽
Ellen Pompeo: pic.twitter.com/u6H8Egbohw
— Brooklyn (@BrooklynBoyB) September 30, 2021
There is no context missing.
Ellen Pompeo was wildly out of line for talking to Denzel (or anybody like this). She told us about it because she sees nothing wrong with it.
And given her habitual crossing the line with Black folks, that’s enough context in itself. https://t.co/iEFlMQAt3o
— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) September 30, 2021
Black Twitter is lit! Ellen Pompeo thought she was going to brag about some disrespectful shit she said to the God of acting, Uncle Denzel…if fuck around and find out was a person! 😂😂😂😂
— Corey Bu-Shea (@coreybking) September 30, 2021
Lemme get this bs straight… Ellen Pompeo really disrespected Denzel Mf Washington and thought we would be on her side? pic.twitter.com/iS4Dfc8iDB
— Miran Bedlisi (@MBedlisi) September 30, 2021
Me after finding out what Ellen Pompeo said to Denzel Washington…DENZEL!!! pic.twitter.com/JMBkyY5s0y
— Chi (@eastbayche) September 30, 2021
Ellen Pompeo Ellen Pompeo
feeling cute waking up to
sharing her calling her publicist
Denzel Washington and her TL in
a MF anecdote shambles pic.twitter.com/TStu1nCj12
— Qondi 💛 🐝 🇺🇸🇿🇦🇿🇼 (@QondiNtini) September 30, 2021
Denzel has directed a litany of movies, but not another television show.