Ellen Pompeo praises Katherine Heigl as ‘ahead of her time’

Ellen Pompeo has praised Katherine Heigl for speaking up about the “crazy hours” on the ‘Grey’s Anatomy set.

Ellen Pompeo praises Katherine Heigl as 'ahead of her time'

Ellen Pompeo praises Katherine Heigl as ‘ahead of her time’

Back in 2009, Katherine admitted she was struggling with the 17-hour days on the medical drama and her comments were not received well but Ellen believes that if she made the same remarks today, her concerns would be taken more seriously.

Speaking to co-star Kate Walsh, on her ‘Tell Me’ podcast, Ellen, 52, said: “I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working and she was 100 per cent right.

“And she was f*****g ballsy for saying it. And she was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying.

“Had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she’s ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours and of course, let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful.”

Last year, Heigl, 43, revealed she had been slammed for speaking up about the unfair working conditions on set.

She wrote on Instagram: “Some of you may remember over ten years ago I was very vocal about the absurdity of the working hours crews and actors were being forced into by production. Even Diane Sawyer interviewed me and not so kindly informed me ‘no one feels sorry for you’. I very publicly and for many many years after got my a** kicked for speaking up.

“I let that public spanking shut me up and shut me down. I took a very big step back from the hustle of my career and retreated into the woods of Utah. I spent a fair amount of time struggling with self confidence and self worth. I let myself be convinced that I was wrong. Very very wrong. That speaking out made me seem ungrateful or precious or as if I were ‘biting the hand that fed me’. As I approach my 43rd year on this planet that nasty insecure voice in me has started to go from a roar to a whisper. With age, one hopes comes wisdom and for me that wisdom is knowing not only who you really are but what you will and will not stand for no matter what anyone, Diane Sawyer included, has to say about it. So I speak up today and say with zero hesitation or regret…14, 16, 17, 18 hour work days are NOT safe. They are NOT healthy. They can not and should NO longer be tolerated.

“We are making entertainment. We are not solving world hunger or curing cancer. We are telling stories. When production goes into hour 14 and beyond they are asking our crews to drive themselves home bone tired. The number of people who have fallen asleep at the wheel is staggering. The number of accidents that happen on set due to exhaustion are shocking. Illness both mental and physical is off the charts. There is nothing glamorous or sexy about working past the point of exhaustion. There is nothing, NOTHING that warrants pushing yourself into an early grave. To be very clear this is NOT about me (though I did kinda need to get some of that off my chest ??) When I first spoke up I was speaking on behalf of myself and my crew on Grey’s. Today things are a little different for me. I am in the fortunate position of being able to say no. To turn down a job if it requires more then I can bear.”

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