Why Ellen Pompeo gave an interview about making $20 million for Grey’s Anatomy — empowerment

Actress Ellen Pompeo, a national icon for playing Meredith in ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ for 14 seasons, recently gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter where she admitted she was now making a $20 million salary — $575,000 per episode, along with a seven-figure signing bonus — for this season, plus upcoming seasons 15 and 16.

Pompeo appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night where she talked again about her $20 million salary. This time going in depth as to why she decided to be so honest about it.


To give other women, no matter what industry they work in, a feeling of empowerment and entitlement of a reward for a job well done.

Pompeo said she was definitely nervous before The Hollywood Reporter interview was published as, sometimes, what you say in person does not come off as how you meant it when it arrives in print.

“It’s not in the same text, in the same way you said it — I’ve gotten myself in trouble in the past for things I’ve said. So, I’m grateful that it was taken in the right way”.

Pompeo went on to explain exactly why she felt the need to talk about her $20 million salary for ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘. A salary that now makes her one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.

“I’m grateful it was received in the way I intended it to be. As an empowering story for women. And also be very honest about my faults, and my shortcomings. Because I think there’s a lot of blame, especially right now. People are blaming people and there’s a lot of finger pointing. But there’s less people owning up to their side of things.

So I wanted to talk about my road to my own empowerment…as well as about mistakes I’ve made along the way.”

Ellen Pompeo is not just grateful to be being paid $20 million per season for her role on the popular medical drama series, however, she is also grateful that she has been able to impact so many women positively with the news.

“The number of women that have come up to me has been very moving to me. Today, someone very close to me and very special to me said “That article was very impactful for me, and moved me and helped me find my own power.”

She then pointed out something many people forget when they talk about the salary inequality in Hollywood.

“As women, it is not only what is done to us or what’s not given to us. What don’t we ask for? How much of it is not given to us, or is it that we don’t ask?”

And she has a point. As so many women complain about not making the money they should be making, but many of them are still too afraid to ask. Maybe if more of them did, women would not still be making 77 percent of what men make for the same job.

Ellen Pompeo had a lot more to say to Jimmy Kimmel about making $20 million, as well as her decision to remain acting in Grey’s Anatomy.

Watch her below, and enjoy that eloquence, that intelligent and that strength. Then go emulate her and ASK!

Related: Listen to Kesha’s ‘Praying‘ from Grey’s Anatomy — hell, that’s a powerful song!

Related Posts