Ellen Pompeo Backs Former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Costar Katherine Heigl’s Claims of ‘Cruel’ Production Schedule

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Ellen Pompeo says there’s truth to her former “Grey’s Anatomy” costar Katherine Heigl’s 2009 claims about the medical drama’s long and grueling work hours.

“Back in the day we used to do crazy, crazy hours,” Pompeo said Wednesday while reflecting on the early seasons, during an episode of her podcast “Tell Me” with her guest, “Grey’s” alum Kate Walsh.

“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working and she was 100 percent right. And had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero,” Pompeo said. “But she’s ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours and of course, let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful.”

She added, “When the truth is, she’s 100 percent honest and it’s absolutely correct what she said. She was f—ing ballsy for saying it. And she was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying!”

Pompeo admitted that much of the cast was willing to put up with the difficult production schedule because “when you’re younger, you’re so excited to be there, and you’re so happy to be invited to the party.”

Walsh agreed with Pompeo’s assessment of the early seasons of “Grey’s,” adding that not much had changed over the years in terms of television production overall.

“There’s nothing human about [the work hours],” she said. “It’s made for a machine, it’s as if we’re a camera or a mic that just goes and goes and goes, and it’s not conducive to any kind of healthy habits.”

The comments that Pompeo addressed were from a 2009 appearance Heigl made on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” At the time, the show was in its sixth season.

During the appearance Heigl called out the fact that she’d recently been on set for a 17-hour day. “I’m gonna keep saying this ’cause I hope it embarrasses them,” she said. “I think it’s cruel and mean.”

Heigl was incredibly outspoken in her criticisms of the series She also famously declined her Emmy nomination in 2008 — hot off the heels of a Supporting Actress win for her portrayal of Izzie Stevens the year prior — because she didn’t feel she’d been given strong enough material.

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