One thing about white girls from Boston who still have their accent is they’re gonna fight. This is certainly the case with Ellen Pompeo, who recently revealed that she got into an altercation with Denzel Washington in 2016 when he was directing an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Pompeo, who was raised Irish Catholic in Everett, Massachusetts (technically a suburb directly north of Boston, but it counts), discussed the argument on her podcast Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo with guest Patrick Dempsey.
Apparently then executive producer Debbie Allen had brought Washington on in an effort to keep Pompeo interested in staying on the show. But as Pompeo put it, “Denzel is a movie star, he doesn’t know shit about directing TV.”
The two butted heads while shooting a scene where a character was supposed to apologize to Pompeo’s Meredith Grey for breaking her jaw in the midst of an epilectic fit. “He made this choice to speak very softly — and I was pissed that I had to sit there and listen to this apology,” Pompeo said.
“He wasn’t looking at me in the eye,” Pompeo. “Again, we love actors who make choices. And I yelled at him, I was like, ‘Look at me! When you apologize, look at me!’ And that wasn’t in the dialogue.”
That’s when Washington went “ham” on Pompeo’s “ass.” “He was like, ‘I’m the director! Don’t you tell him what to do!’ I was like, ‘Listen, motherfucker, this is my show! This is my set! Who are you telling? You barely even know where the bathroom is,” Pompeo told a chuckling Dempsey.
Now, some people have been quick to ask, “Why would you tell this story? Why would you admit this?” Those people, like many, have forgotten where exactly Pompeo is from. You can hear it when she pronounces “bathroom” like “bathruhm.” She is not afraid to shit talk her bosses in the Hollywood Reporter or call out the lack of diversity on the set of a Net-A-Porter YouTube video. This woman has definitely thrown a punch before and Washington should honestly be thankful he didn’t end up getting smacked so hard he landed in the Charles River.
Pompeo said that she does have “the utmost respect” for him and that it was “an amazing experience.” Getting into a shouting match with someone you barely know? Sounds like the Boston version of an “amazing experience” to me.