Ellen Pompeo Thinks Grey's Anatomy Could Improve Its Discussion of Social Justice Issues

Ellen Pompeo is being honest about her thoughts on Grey's Anatomy's handling of social issues, including Asian discrimination, sexual assault and more.

By Cydney Contreras Aug 05, 2022 6:53 PMTags
Watch: Ellen Pompeo SCALING BACK Her Role on Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo may be the star of Grey's Anatomy, but that doesn't mean she can't be critical of the ABC series.

The actress, who has played Meredith Grey since 2005, admits the medical drama has room for improvement, sharing that she feels the series hasn't done enough to address social justice issues. "We've covered a lot of very important topics and we do talk a lot about things," she said on her podcast Tell Me Aug. 3. "I think if I had any desire, honestly, it would be to be less sort of preachy in one episode about certain things." 

As Pompeo explained, Grey's Anatomy tends to do one-off episodes about an issue. "Asian hate crimes is one that we did this past season that was really moving," she said. "I think I'd like to see things happen a little more subtly and over time. You know, consistently and less sort of hit you over the head for just one hour and then we never talk about it again."

Grey's Anatomy's Most Shocking Moments

She continued, "I wish we could touch on these social issues that are important and have them be threads throughout."

Raymond Liu/ABC/Kobal/Shutterstock

While Pompeo believes more can be done, it's worth recognizing the positive impact Grey's has had on its viewers. The season 14 midseason premiere brought awareness to resources for domestic violence survivors, naming the episode "1-800-799-7233," the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. And the episode "Silent All These Years," similarly highlighted resources and led to increased calls to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) sexual assault hotline, according to The Hill, citing a study by the JAMA Internal Medicine.

Pompeo, who serves as an executive producer on the series, has the opportunity to increase the discussions of other important issues on the coming season 19, which will see her appear in a "limited capacity." As E! News learned Aug. 3, the actress will only star in eight of the 20 episodes planned, though she will continue narrating. 

To learn more about the upcoming season, keep reading here.

Get the drama behind the scenes. Sign up for TV Scoop!