All it takes is for one white lady on a high-intensity medical show to tweet about a black woman’s performance during a presidential debate and a chunk of the world tries to call her racist.
Actress Ellen Pompeo wasn’t having it.
After the CNN presidential debate Wednesday night, Pompeo, who plays the very Caucasian “Meredith Grey” on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy — a show on which she confidently asked for as much money she could possibly ask for without getting too many of her female coworkers knocked off the hit drama — wrote a tweet calling Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “overconfident.”
For that, she was called racist.
But Pompeo, or Meredith (it was hard to tell you who was who after midnight East Coast time), just did not give a f–k who was saying what. To the bitter end, she fought back, spoke her mind and, above all, deleted nothing.
The saga started at 10:48 p.m. when Pompeo tweeted her thoughts about Harris in relation to former Vice President Joe Biden. “Because she’s overconfident and believes he is her only competition,” Pompeo tweeted.
She was responding to a Bloomberg piece that said this: “An emerging trend in this debate: Kamala Harris very clearly only wants to debate Joe Biden. Every time she’s been challenged by a lower-polling candidate, she takes it back to Biden #DemDebate”
After allegations of racism quickly came to a boil, Pompeo shot back, “Not sure why my comment is now a racial comment ..so weak.. two people on a stage with a bunch of others they all came off a certain way and they are up there for interpretation… stop looking for shit to get mad about.”
Is she unfamiliar with Twitter? This is the place where people come looking for shit to get mad about.
Case in point. The Hoarse Whisperer charged, “Remarkably dumb take.”
“Damn you really showed yourself here,” another follower snarled.
A woman ironically named “AuntiBS” wrote, “Wow I disagree with that. Is overconfident the acceptable way of saying uppity? Every single person on the stage was confident but somehow the black woman. White women need to do better, be the change we need.”
Portia McGonagal of Winterfell added her two cents: “You basically called her uppity and you should know better. Own it or don’t.”
Forget crisis communications specialists. Pompeo handled herself just fine. She sounded completely sane pushing back against allegations she knew were false and a Twitter mob trying to brand her racist.
Cory Bu-Shea, a professor, wrote, “Um excuse me…you work for a confident Black [sic] woman, and are married to a Black man, with biracial children, you might want to watch how you frame your language about the only Black woman candidate.”
He was referring to Grey’s Anatomy writer Shonda Rhimes and her husband, Chris Ivery, a black music executive, with whom she has three children.
“First I don’t have to tip toe around when I’m talking about a performance on a stage by a candidate,” the actress replied. “To me that’s what she is first in this context.. Race has nothing to do with her ideas or plans as a candidate. It informs her plans, but I only care about their ideas.”
Just before midnight, Pompeo was still arguing with her accusers, and yes, still saying that Harris’ performance was lacking.
At this point, Glenda got on her case: “Ellen, I am quite sure you know the difference between confidence and OVER confidence, the latter is what you accused Kamala of. BIG difference and you know it.”
Pompeo replied, “I do, but all the back and forth with him was so pointless why did she even stoop to that level? Just tear it up with a plan…. stop all that foolish back and forth with Biden… the fighting is such a waste of time and she should be past that, they already sparred. I would think accomplishing all that would give you a lot of confidence no?”
At this point, she instructed Harris to “ignore that fool.” That “fool” being Biden.
“She does in her life, but in this race on that stage she should have cared more about telling us some ideas than wasting her time with Biden,” she wrote. “He’s not saying anything new or interesting ignore that fool.”
Tiffany Cross, managing editor of DC’s “diverse political tipsheet,” TheBeat, tried to suck all the power out of Pompeo.
She wrote, “Before we all pile on Ellen Pompeo just ask yourself… does her political insight matter much? Is she who you look to for analysis? If so, proceed.”
By 12:30 EST, Pompeo seemed giddy. Neither Harris nor Biden are it for her.
So who is her McDreamy candidate?
“Bottom line is Yang was the one for me tonight,” she wrote. “He was matter of fact, common sense, and wasted no time romping with anyone, unlike yours truly!!!!”
Pompeo also had advice for the media. Some insist she was lecturing people like they were all her schoolchildren, but honestly, I’m on Meredith’s side here.
Here she’s talking about Harris going after Biden. And the media giving Biden too much ink.
“Exactly so why mention them?” she asked. “I wanted her [Harris] to go high not go back and forth with him [Biden]. He’s so out of touch, why bother? The media gives him too much attention.”
Kamesha Corporate Thuggin Williams wrote, “Really? Really Ellen [emojis of a woman who is supposed to be Ellen next to a lightbulb] you’re ‘not sure why’ you know why, that’s why you deleted it.”
Williams was referencing Pompeo’s aforementioned “Not sure why my comment is now a racial comment” remark.
Pompeo faced her down like she might confront Chief of Surgery Miranda Bailey (who is black) on Grey’s.
“I didn’t delete anything,” Pompeo wrote, er, confidently.
Nikosi Barrow, who is black, would not let Pompeo off the hook: “Again, you’re avoiding the issue at hand here. You called a qualified black woman ‘overconfident’ for doing what she was there to do. WIN. Keep trying to redirect the conversation though.”
Pompeo was not apologetic: “Never said she was unqualified and her race and gender have nothing to do with my comment about her performance and how she spent her time on stage.”
By 1:37 a.m. EST, the actress was done.
She put a period on the whole thing by trying to unite Twitter Nation — and rightfully held her own.
“Goodnight everybody,” she wrote. “Love you all no matter what … you can feel anyway you want ….but so can I …and have love for everyone.”
Pompeo sealed her farewell with heart and red lip emojis combined with keepin’ it 100.