All we have to say to Ellen Pompeo is you go, girl! The Grey’s Anatomy actress sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and, in the wake of the #TimesUp movement, shared that she didn’t become TV’s highest-paid actress without fighting for it.
Ellen credits her mentor, and the creator of Grey’s Anatomy Shonda Rhimes, for helping her. According to Ellen, Shonda told her: "Decide what you think you're worth and then ask for what you think you're worth. Nobody's just going to give it to you."
Below is a shortened version of Ellen’s interview. Read it and become inspired✨
“I’m 48 now, so I've finally gotten to the place where I'm OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,” Ellen shared. “… In Shonda finding her power and becoming more comfortable with her power, she has empowered me. And that took her a while to get to, too. It was part of her evolution. … What happened is that I went to Shonda and I said, "If you're moving on to Netflix and you want the show to go down, I'm cool with that. But if you want it to continue, I need to be incentivized. I need to feel empowered and to feel ownership of this show." And she was like, "I absolutely want to keep the show going. It's the mothership, so let's find a way to make you happy. What do you want?" Now, maybe it's my Irish Catholic upbringing, but you never want to [be perceived as] too greedy. Or maybe it's just that as women, that's our problem; a guy wouldn't have any problem asking for $600,000 an episode. And as women, we're like, "Oh, can I ask for that? Is that OK?" I'd call Shonda and say, "Am I being greedy?" But CAA compiled a list of stats for me, and Grey's has generated nearly $3 billion for Disney. When your face and your voice have been part of something that's generated $3 billion for one of the biggest corporations in the world, you start to feel like, "OK, maybe I do deserve a piece of this." In the last few weeks, a lot of us actresses in town have been having these meetings [as part of the Time's Up initiative]. We've been sharing stories and trying to figure out how we can promote change and use our voices to help other people. And I'll tell you, sitting in rooms full of Oscar-winning actresses listening to how they've been preyed upon and assaulted is frightening. And it confirmed that my path really was the right one for me, because I've chosen to financially empower myself so that I never have to be ducking predators and chasing trophies. It's not for everyone. You have to be more interested in business than you are in acting. … Here's the thing: You have a choice. … I should also say this: I don't believe the only solution is more women in power, because power corrupts. It's not necessarily a man or a woman thing. But there should be more of us women in power, and not just on Shonda Rhimes' sets. Look, I only have a 12th-grade education and I wasn't a great student, but I've gotten an education here at Shondaland. And now my 8-year-old daughter gets to come here and see fierce females in charge. She loves to sit in the director's chair with the headphones on yelling "Action" and "Cut." She's growing up in an environment where she's completely comfortable with power. I don't know any other environment in Hollywood where I could provide that for her. Now I hope that changes … and soon.”
Click here to read the full transcript