On a recent episode of her podcast, Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo, the actress recounted to Patrick Dempsey about how she got into a heated argument with Denzel Washington during the filming of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Denzel Washington was the guest director for an episode and Pompeo recalls improvising a line and giving direction to another actor.
“I was like, ‘Look at me when you apologize. Look at me,'” she recalled. “And that wasn’t in the dialogue. And Denzel went ham on my ass. He was like, ‘I’m the director. Don’t you tell him what to do.'”
Don’t come for Denzel
“I was like, ‘Listen, motherfuck*r, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling?'”
If there is one person in Hollywood that has earned the ability and respect to not get talked back to or questioned, it is THE Oscar-winning Denzel Washington.
Pompeo went on to say that it was an “amazing experience” and that she had the “utmost respect for Denzel as an actor and director,” but the damage was already done. Once Black Twitter caught wind of her encounter, she was dragged up and down the internet for her tone in recalling the story.
My tone for “this is a good Denzel story” is a lot different to hers https://t.co/1mxZSSidtU
— Sarcastic 😜 (@sarcastic_sabs) October 1, 2021
“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
Did Ellen Pompeo think telling the story about yelling at Denzel Washington was endearing or putting her in a good light? It makes her comes across as a privileged and entitled jerk. Especially running to tell his wife.
— Nicole (@nikkinicole1908) September 30, 2021
Imagine calling Denzel Washington “motherfucker” to his face and then telling a magazine about it, and thinking it’s a good story to share.
— Pfizer Söze (@b0ssmir) September 30, 2021
“We didn’t get through it without a fight, but that’s actors for you,” Pompeo added. “Passionate and fiery… and that’s where you get the good stuff. So, it was an amazing experience; it really was.”
I imagine she’ll use a different choice of words other than “amazing experience” next time in recounting a story like this–and probably never come for Denzel again.