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Denzel Washington Doesn’t Recall Ellen Pompeo’s Claim That the Two Had Argument on Set While Filming ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Denzel Washington shared his take on “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo’s story of the two clashing heads while he guest directed an episode of the long-running series, and although the moment is fuzzy in his mind, it still doesn’t quite match the actress’ recounting.

The two-time Academy Award-winning actor directed a 2016 episode of Shonda Rhimes’ hit ABC series titled “The Sound of Silence,” the series’ season 12 premiere, and in 2021 Pompeo, who portrays the titular Dr. Meredith Grey, dished that although working with the legend was an “amazing experience,” it didn’t come without its difficulties.

Denzel Washington (L) responds to Ellen Pompeo’s (R) claim that they got into an argument on “Grey’s Anatomy” set. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for VIOLET GREY

The actress described a heated moment between the two on set during an episode of her podcast, “Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo,” when “The Tragedy of Macbeth” actor “went ham” on her for improvising during a scene with fellow “Grey’s” star Patrick Dempsey.

“I was like, ‘Look at me when you apologize. Look at me,'” she recalled yelling at Dempsey during a scene. “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!'”

Pompeo didn’t take the criticism lightly however and claimed that she fired back, “Listen, motherf****r, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling?”

Washington claimed that while he doesn’t quite recall the moment in question, that everything was “all good” between the two. “No, no,” he told Variety, adding, “But it’s all good.”

Regardless of what truly happened between the two while shooting, Pompeo looks back on the experience with fondness. “So, we didn’t get through it without a fight, but that’s actors for you,” she said during the podcast. “Passionate and fiery and that’s where you get the magic, and that’s where you get the good stuff. So, it was an amazing experience, it really was.”

Producer Rhimes previously addressed Pompeo’s claims as well, saying that, “Whatever happens happens. But I also feel like Ellen’s going to be Ellen.”


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