On the most recent podcast episode of Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo, the Grey’s Anatomy star had some positive words to say about Heigl and the way she spoke out about the working conditions back in the day on the ABC drama.
“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working. She was 100 percent right,” Pompeo said to Kate Walsh, her guest on the podcast. “Had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she [was] ahead of her time. She made a statement about our crazy hours, and of course, let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful. When the truth is, she’s 100 percent honest and it’s absolutely correct what she said, and she was f*cking ballsy for saying it, and she was telling the truth, she wasn’t lying.”
Pompeo is referring to Heigl’s 2009 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. While promoting her new movie The Ugly Truth, Heigl talked about how “cruel” and “mean” it was that she and her fellow cast members were having to work 17-hour days on the medical drama.
“I’m going to keep saying this cuz’ I hope it embarrasses them,” she said of production at the time.
The blowback was instantaneous; once again Heigl was referred to an ungrateful actress. And she never forgot the treatment; while endorsing the IATSE strike last year, Heigl addressed on Instagram about how she “got her ass kicked” for speaking out.
“Some of you may remember over 10 years ago I was very vocal about the absurdity of the working hours crews and actors were being forced into by production,” she wrote. “Even Diane Sawyer interviewed me and not so kindly informed me ‘no one feels sorry for you.’ I very publicly and for many years after got my ass kicked for speaking up. We are making entertainment. We are not solving world hunger or curing cancer. We are telling stories. When production plows into hour 14 and beyond they are asking our crews to drive themselves home bone tired.”