Ellen Pompeo: Why I Publicized My $20 Million Salary

During Thursday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the Grey's Anatomy star opened up about her decision to reveal her salary to The Hollywood Reporter

By Elyse Dupre Feb 09, 2018 4:58 PMTags

Ellen Pompeo isn't afraid to talk about her $20 million salary.

The Grey's Anatomy star appeared on Thursday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss her decision to go public with her eight-figure paycheck.

Pompeo first revealed her multi-million dollar salary to The Hollywood Reporter for a January article. While the 48-year-old actress admitted she was nervous to talk about the topic, she said she's "grateful" for the way the story has been received.

"I'm grateful that it was received in the way in which I intended it to be, which was as an empowering story for women and to also be very honest about my faults and my shortcomings," she told Kimmel. "Because I think that there's a lot of blame, especially right now. People are blaming people. There's a lot of finger pointing, but there's less people owning up to their side of things. And I wanted to sort of do a truthful interview and talk about my road to my own empowerment and how I got there, but also mistakes I've made along the way."

In the article, Pompeo encouraged women to ask for what they deserve—a point she reiterated on Thursday's episode.

"As women, you know, it's not only about what's done to us or what's not given to us. It's what don't we ask for," she told Kimmel. "You know, how much of it is [it] isn't given to us, or is it that we don't ask? I think that as much as we can point the finger at other people and [say], ‘You don't give us or you don't treat us fairly,' we also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, ‘Did we ask? Did we step up and have the uh, gumption, to ask for what a man would?' We have to own part of it. And sometimes we're too shy; we're too afraid to be seen as difficult to really speak our mind."

Pompeo also talked about how the show's creator Shonda Rhimes empowered her—even after the famed producer left the show and headed to Netflix. In addition, she applauded Disney's CEO Bob Iger for the way he runs the company.

"I think it's reflective from the top down," she said.


Watch the video to hear Pompeo's interview.