Ellen Pompeo Doesn’t Buy The Myth That Successful Women Have To Compete With Each Other

“You don’t have to pit us against each other, we’re not enemies.”

When you've starred on a TV show for as long as Ellen Pompeo has, you've been through it all. The Grey's Anatomy leading lady, playing Dr. Meredith Grey for the past 14 seasons, recently chatted with Ellen DeGeneres about some of the untruths that women in the entertainment industry face and how to dispel them.


The conversation began with DeGeneres congratulating the fellow Ellen about a Hollywood Reporter cover story in which she talks about her fight for equal pay and her status as the highest-paid woman on a primetime drama. When asked by the talk show host why she shared the story, Pompeo had a perfect response.

"I think there are certain moments where it's important to be really truthful about our pain and our struggles. I think that sometimes you have to go through painful things to just be an example if you have a platform, we have a platform," Pompeo said, bringing up DeGeneres' coming out on TV 20 years prior

The 48-year-old then notes that she has "really been shocked and really moved" by all the women who have approached her since the story came out and wanted to share their stories. Pompeo adds that oftentimes women are afraid to ask for what they're worth because they've been taught to not be vocal. That's why she thinks it's so necessary for women to encourage one another to "stand up and be strong, and know that we'll be OK and we have each other's backs."

In response, DeGeneres goes on to express about how some people think that if somebody gets something that another person won't be able to get it as well. They come from "a place of lack," DeGeneres said, adding that "there's abundance, everyone can have whatever they want." Pompeo, to put it simply, agreed.

"Look at us! This is two Ellens, both with TV shows, we're both doing great. There's two seats at the table," Pompeo explained. "That speaks to … what you said is so poignant because it's true. That speaks to civil rights and equal rights, and there's that notion — this is a much broader conversation — but because you have means I don't get is a very deep-rooted thing where racism and sexism is based. It's important to talk about that and unearth that and just simply dispel it, and say that is simply not true."

Closing out the segment, DeGeneres brings up the fact that there are two stars from the Shonda Rhimes series who are set to leave the show and that there are rumors that Pompeo is to blame because she is getting paid so much and that her pay negotiation resulted in others losing their jobs. Pompeo denies this and asserts that this is just another case of gender bias.

"I think that it's important for us to not pit women against each other and to really dispel the notion that women are always victims," Pompeo concluded. "You don't have to pit us against each other, we're not enemies, we do lift each other up and support each other, and we're not victims. We're very strong and we're capable of many, many things."

Well put, Dr. Grey.

Watch the intriguing conversation in full here:

Cover image via Michael Rozman / Warner Bros.


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