There’s an upcoming book about the behind-the-scenes drama of Grey’s Anatomy, entitled, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s written by Entertainment Weekly’s Lynette Rice, and there’s already talk (in this very post) that she’ll sweep the Pulitzers, the Booker Prizes, and the Gossipy Biotch Awards. Sorry, super-serious authors of ~literature~, this ain’t your year!
The book spills tea about Patrick Dempsey’s 2015 exit from the show. There have always been rumors that Dr. McDreamy got killed off cuz Patrick was a diva and Shonda Rimes hated him. But now we have actual confirmation from executive producer James D. Parriott, who was brought back to the series to oversee Patrick’s exit. James says that Patrick got fired due to non-sexual “HR issues.” Apparently, he was terrorizing the set, and “some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him.” James adds that Shonda and Patrick were at each other’s throats, Ellen Pompeo was frustrated over his constant complaining about long hours, and he “didn’t like the inconvenience of coming in every day and working.” Bitch, welcome to the club!
The Hollywood Reporter has the entire eighth chapter of the book that covers Patrick’s exit. Lynette interviews a bunch of people involved with the show, and many of them still say Patrick was a charismatic “sweetheart”, just completely miserable on set. Here are some highlights:
James D. Parriott Shonda needed an OG to come in as sort of a showrunner for fourteen episodes. There were HR issues. It wasn’t sexual in any way. He sort of was terrorizing the set. Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him. He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people. The network and studio came down and we had sessions with them. I think he was just done with the show. He didn’t like the inconvenience of coming in every day and working. He and Shonda were at each other’s throats.
Jeannine Renshaw (Producer) There were times where Ellen was frustrated with Patrick and she would get angry that he wasn’t working as much. She was very big on having things be fair. She just didn’t like that Patrick would complain that “I’m here too late” or “I’ve been here too long” when she had twice as many scenes in the episode as he did. When I brought it up to Patrick, I would say, “Look around you. These people have been here since six thirty a.m.” He would go, “Oh, yeah.” He would get it. It’s just that actors tend to see things from their own perspective. He’s like a kid. He’s so high energy and would go, “What’s happening next?” He literally goes out of his skin, sitting and waiting. He wants to be out driving his race car or doing something fun. He’s the kid in class who wants to go to recess.
A longtime crew member tells Lynette that once other actresses on the show “were getting all this power,” they’d complain to Shonda that Patrick was an unprofessional nightmare:
He was just shut out in the cold. His behavior wasn’t the greatest, but he had nowhere to go. He was so miserable. He had no one to talk to. When Sandra left, I remember him telling me, “I should’ve left then, but I stayed on because they showed me all this money. They just were dumping money on me.”
Producer Jeannine adds that Patrick would just complain, complain, complain, and once Shonda finally witnessed it, “that was the final straw”:
Shonda had to say to the network, “If he doesn’t go, I go.” Nobody wanted him to leave, because he was the show. Him and Ellen. Patrick is a sweetheart. It messes you up, this business.
Patrick tells Lynette that he worked “ten months, fifteen hours a day” and he never knew his schedule ahead of time. He says:
Doing that for eleven years is challenging. But you have to be grateful, because you’re well compensated, so you can’t really complain because you don’t really have a right.
But it sounded like he complained anyway. And a reminder that Patrick made $400,000 per episode in that last season. So definitely not a great call to bitch in front of the crew who had longer hours and made a fraction of that salary. Ahhh, actors. So, so clueless. But so, sooo pretty. I mean, I’m not even a Grey’s fan, but I’d kill innocent humans for a chance to run my hands through Patrick’s beautiful hair.