Patrick Dempsey’s ‘Terrorizing the Set’ Led to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Ousting, Says Producer
Patrick Dempsey’s Season 11 exit from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ came amid “HR issues” that were in no way “sexual” and examples of Dempsey – who played Derek “McDreamy” Shepard, Ellen Pompeo’s lover of Meredith Gray – “terrorizing the whole” ABC medical drama, an executive producer on the show says in the upcoming book, “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy” .
In an excerpt from author Lynette Rice’s unauthorized “Grey’s” guide, to be published Sept. 21 and published by The Hollywood Reporter, James D. Parriott says series creator Shonda Rhimes “needed an OG to become a kind of showrunner for fourteen years”. episodes,” which brought him back to “Grey’s” to help out in the final days of Dempsey’s tenure there.
“There were human resource issues. It was in no way sexual. He kind of terrorized the set. Some cast members had all kinds of PTSD with him,” Parriott explains in the excerpt. “He had this grip on set where he knew he could shut down production and scare people. The network and the studio went down and we had sessions with them. I think he was just finishing the show. He didn’t like the inconvenience of coming in every day and working. He and Shonda were at each other’s throats.
Regarding his on-set behavior during this time, Dempsey is quoted in the excerpt from “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy” to say, “It’s ten months, fifteen hours a day. You don’t know your schedule, so your child asks you, ‘What are you doing on Monday?’ And you say, “I don’t know,” because I don’t know my schedule. Doing this for eleven years is a challenge. But you have to be grateful, because you’re well paid, so you can’t really complain. because you don’t really have any rights. You have no control over your schedule. So, you just have to be flexible.
“Grey’s” producer Jeannine Renshaw says in THR’s excerpt from Rice’s book that when Rhimes “finally witnessed” Dempsey’s alleged behavior, “it was the last straw.”
“Shonda had to tell the network, ‘If he’s not going, I’m going.’ Nobody wanted him to go, because he was the show,” Renshaw says. “He and Ellen. Patrick is a sweetheart.
Dempsey was ultimately killed off “Grey’s Anatomy” near the end of season 11, though he reprized the role of Derek in the recently aired season 17, coming to Meredith several times during her COVID-induced dream that happened. takes place on a beach. But Parriott said several plans to deal with the tension on set were hatched before it was decided that killing Derek in a car crash was the way to go.
“We had three different scenarios that we actually had to break because we didn’t know until about three days before he came back to define which one we were going to go with,” Parriott explains in the excerpt. “We didn’t know if he would be able to negotiate his exit. We had a whole story where we were going to keep him in Washington, DC, so we could separate him from the rest of the show. He wouldn’t have to work with Ellen anymore. Then we got the one where he comes back, doesn’t die, and we figured out what Derek’s relationship with Meredith would be. Then there’s the one we did. It was a bit crazy. We didn’t know if he would be able to negotiate his exit. It was ultimately decided that simply bringing him back would be too much for the other actors. The studio just said it was going to be more trouble than it was worth and decided to move on.
ABC and “Grey’s Anatomy” studio ABC Signature declined to comment for this story. Representatives for Dempsey and Shondaland did not immediately respond to request for comment.