‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Ellen Pompeo Responds to Fan Backlash Over Harvey Weinstein Comments From the Oxford Union Q&A

by Jeremy Spirogis
Ellen Pompeo at Women In Film 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented By Max Mara, Lancôme And Lexus - Red Carpet

Fans are calling out Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo for the remarks she made in regards to the victims of Harvey Weinstein from an Oxford Union Q&A in 2018. A couple of clips from the dialogue resurfaced on Twitter in April 2020. Then in response to the backlash, Pompeo clarified her earlier statements on the social media platform.

What Ellen Pompeo stated in the course of the Oxford Union Q&A in 2018

Ellen Pompeo at Women In Film 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented By Max Mara, Lancôme And Lexus - Red Carpet
Ellen Pompeo | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Women In Film

In the Oxford Union Q&A from July 2018, Pompeo was requested what would wish to occur to ensure that the #MeToo and #TimesUp actions to completely change Hollywood’s office surroundings. Initially, Pompeo acknowledged individuals want to know harassment gained’t be tolerated and people must be educated. Then the actor touched on the origins of the habits, noting males in Hollywood have been realized from older generations. 

“I’m not going to make excuses for these pigs in Hollywood who do disgusting things to women,” Pompeo stated. “However, I do think it’s generations of men who clearly were brought up by older men. They clearly watched other men and watched the behavior that they got away with.”

She then shared her ideas on the function of ladies. “I think that women have to also be responsible for the signals we put out, for the messages we put out, and the way we present ourselves,” Pompeo stated. “I said in my article — and I’m not ashamed to say it — as an actor, you certainly go in a room with the idea that this director needs to fall in love with me to give me this part. And so, as women, we flirt.”

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Now the clip resurfaced in April 2020 begins round this level within the interview. Ultimately, Pompeo’s remarks about Weinstein’s victims sparked the backlash.

“I think we bear some responsibility, not all, but it takes two to tango for sure,” Pompeo stated. “That’s not to blame the victim. That’s just to say… I did go into a room with Harvey Weinstein. I sat at a table with him … He never said anything inappropriate to me. He never made any sort of physical advance to me.”

The actor added she was by no means alone in a room with the convicted intercourse offender and former movie producer. “I had been sent there by an agent in the middle of the daytime,” Pompeo stated. “I didn’t think there was anything wrong, I wouldn’t have gone into that room at night. But he did nothing inappropriate toward me.”

She continued: “Now had he, I would have picked up that glass and smashed him across the side of the face with it. So I mean, it’s all what we’re willing to tolerate in our self-esteem, and what are we going to put up with, and what are we going to compromise to be liked, to be loved, to be accepted? How bad do we want to be in show business?”

Ellen Pompeo responds to the fan backlash on Twitter

When the clip resurfaced on social media, people on social media called Pompeo’s remarks “disgusting” and accused the actor of victim-blaming. Then Pompeo responded to the fan backlash on Twitter and stated the feedback have been taken out of context. 

“Hey girls sorry if video clips are upsetting!!” Pompeo tweeted on April 23. “Its out of context & it’s too serious a subject to talk about on a platform like this…people who have been abused or assaulted should seek guidance from a therapist… this is not a healthy place for topics this serious.”

In a separate tweet, Pompeo continued: “For those who feel offended or are taking this personally this panel was 2 + years ago and it was way before the whole stories of the women came out I Certainly didn’t know he was a rapist at that point …  that took sh*t to a whole different level.”

Later, Pompeo acknowledged the New York Times piece about Weinstein was launched earlier than the Oxford Union Q&A. “Okay so I was just told The Times story was out before this but I didn’t read it,” the actor tweeted. “I only was really following the story on the news once the trial began.”

Ellen Pompeo at PORTER's Incredible Women Gala 2018 - ArrivalsEllen Pompeo at PORTER's Incredible Women Gala 2018 - Arrivals
Ellen Pompeo | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Pompeo clarified her previous statements. On Twitter, she wrote: 

And… I’m speaking about harassment… not assault.  Two various things.  I used to be talking about MY expertise of being harassed in Hollywood and my outlook on it. 

For years earlier than occasions up girls needed to put up with harassment and nonetheless do frequently …it was simply a part of the job as it’s in quite a bit or all professions …we couldn’t complain like we will now.  If we complained we might be out and the person would keep.

&MY approach of coping w/ no matter conditions I’ve been in shouldn’t be a touch upon how different girls deal with issues… once more Thank God we will communicate up now however as soon as once more assault and harassment are totally different each dangerous however totally different.

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