Grey’s Anatomy is regarded as the most successful TV series in the past few years, also being involved in many different controversies, the latest one being all around the fan’s favorite actor: Patrick Dempsey. The medical drama is a category that can be manifested to be very much admired in the TV industry, and while many successful shows have been coming from it, only few have had the impact and influence same as Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s Anatomy, created by Shonda Rhimes, began in 2005 as a replacement in mid-season, but it has been over 15 seasons and there is no signs of it coming to end anytime soon.

Grey's Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy sets upon the basic belief of medical dramas and concentrates on the lives of interns, inhabitants, and attendings as they try their to their full extent to balance their personal and professional lives, which makes a lot of drama on either side of the hospital. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is the lead of the series, who began as an intern and was successful in becoming the Head of General Surgery eventually being designated as the Director of the Residency Program at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The viewers have come across a variety of characters, both patients and coworkers, out of which Derek Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey, instantly became a favorite, thanks to his charm.

The primary love interest of Meredith Grey was none other than Derek Shepherd and hence, the most favorite characters in Grey’s Anatomy, with the fans also getting quite attracted towards Patrick Dempsey. In season 11, we watch Dempsey leave the show but he returns for special episodes and has a periodic role in season 17 where he came in Meredith’s COVID-induced dreams. However, his reputation as “McDreamy” has altered as his on-set conduct and much more has become known – and here’s how the fallout of Patrick Dempsey has developed.

Isaiah Washington Vs Patrick Dempsey

Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey
Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey

Derek Shepherd and Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) were first seen as attendings at Seattle Grace Hospital in Grey’s Anatomy season 1 – the former being a cardiothoracic surgeon and the latter, a neurosurgeon. The relation between Derek and Meredith became very shaky while the same happened with Preston and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and on their wedding day, Preston disgracefully left her in the chapel. Preston’s retirement from Grey’s Anatomy was pretty sudden, and much behind the scenes drama resulted in this, in which Dempsey and T.R. Knight, who played George O’Malley, were also involved.

It was reported in late 2006, that T.R. Knight was insulted by Washington with a homophobic comment, after which Knight was seen publicly coming out. In an official statement, Washington expressed his regret but during the Golden Globes event the next year, his statements on the issue sparked the controversy again. In June 2007, ABC made it clear not to renew Washington’s contract and so he left Grey’s Anatomy. During an appearance on Larry King Live, not long after, Washington explained that he did not use a homophobic slur in respect to Knight and instead jabbered it out in a different context during an argument that was aroused by Dempsey, who wasn’t treating him right. The reason behind his difference with Dempsey, as Washington added, was the latter’s lateness, and when Washington said he “didn’t need Ellen” as “he can act”, it upset Dempsey. Dempsey was not considered as an active player in the dissention, even with all this information, and was even shown as a victim, and his “McDreamy” image remained unbroken.

Ellen Pompeo & Patrick Dempsey’s Contract Negotiations

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo

In an interview with THR in 2018, Ellen Pompeo shed light on being the highest-paid TV actress and also told that, at some point, she went out to Dempsey to work out their contracts together. Dempsey’s retirement from Grey’s Anatomy is called a “defining moment, deal-wise” by Pompeo, as he could have been used as leverage against her as a justification “we don’t need you, we have Patrick”. Unfortunately, Dempsey was not interested in negotiating his contract alongside Pompeo, so she continued her own fight. Pompeo also recollected that it was “a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end“, so some time off was necessary for her after Dempsey left Grey’s Anatomy. Whether it was about helping his co-star  or it was getting more and more furiatiing working in Grey’s Anatomy, is a mystery.

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