Ellen Pompeo Claims She Almost Left ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Due to ‘Toxic’ Work Environment

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Ellen Pompeo revealed she almost decided to call it quits on the longest-running medical television series “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Pompeo spent the first decade of filming “Grey’s” unhappy, she told Taraji P. Henson during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” event, according to a report published Wednesday by Entertainment Tonight.

“There were many moments when I wanted off the bus… It’s funny how it works. I never sort of wanted off the bus in a year that I could get off the bus, you know?” Pompeo admitted. “We had a serious, serious culture problem on ‘Grey’s’ for a good number of years — I would say the first 10 years. We had serious, serious culture issues. Very bad behavior, really toxic work environment.”

Pompeo changed her mind about potentially leaving the series after the birth of her first child. (RELATED: Rob Lowe Says He Turned Down A Role On ‘Grey’s Anatomy’)

“So at that point… I was 40 years old… and I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, at 40 years old, where am I ever gonna get this kind of money? And I need to take care of my kid, so I’m gonna stay,'” she said.

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Pompeo took it upon herself to make some changes behind-the-scenes. With the help of showrunner Shonda Rhimes, steps were taken to make the environment better for everyone, although the specifics aren’t clear.

“We brought in Debbie Allen as our executive producer … and we made some changes and we had to reimagine what behind the scenes at ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ looked like,” Pompeo said. “And so, for the past five years, we’ve been on a mission to change the story behind the scenes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.'”