Ellen Pompeo Wants Grey’s Anatomy to Be Less Preachy and More Subtle


The star of the series “Anatomy of Passion” Ellen Pompeo explains why she wants the series to focus more on social issues. Since its premiere in 2005, the popular medical drama has often woven social commentary into its stories. Throughout its run, the series addressed issues of alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health, and gun violence. This is a reflection of the fact that television, which has always considered current social issues as a mass media, feels more responsible for this thanks to social networks and the fact that they contribute to faster feedback from the audience.

A recent example of this is how the 18th season of “Anatomy of Passion” studied the hatred of Asian Americans during AAPI month. The episode with the racy title “Stronger than Hate” tells about a victim of a hate crime against Asians who was taken to Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital in need of surgery. Throughout the episode, the staff discusses what it means to be Asian American. These efforts deserve special attention, given the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

In her podcast “Tell Me,” Pompeo explained why, in her opinion, “Anatomy of Passion” should adjust its approach to social issues. Pompeo, who plays the main character Meredith Gray, said she believes these issues are important and should be included in the series, not isolated in one episode and then forgotten. The actress noted that she would like these topics to be considered more subtly and consistently, rather than the current approach, when each topic is given only one hour here and there. Her quote is given below.

“I think if I had any desire, I would like to be less preachy in one episode about certain things. For example, we’re doing one episode about, let’s see… hate crimes in Asia is something we did last season, and it was really touching. I think I would like things to happen a little more subtly and over time. You know, they hit you on the head constantly and less often for just one hour, and then we never talked about it again. I would like us to be able to touch on these important social issues and make them cross-cutting.”

Pompeo, who will cut her participation in the 19th season of “Anatomy of Passion” to headline the Hulu limited series, talks about the problem of a “Special Episode.” Although this descriptor is now perceived somewhat negatively, it was once considered a very common way for the show to solve complex problems such as drug use and death. This is especially true for family programs and sitcoms, which, as a rule, avoid serious topics. In the era of prestigious dramas, this term can still be applied. Racism and financial problems are solved in an episode or even in several scenes, as in the case of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but they serve no other purpose.

Pompeo is right that, no matter how well-intentioned, the approach of highlighting the problem once or twice and then basically moving on is doing a disservice. Different teams of screenwriters, of course, act differently, but it would be much more authentic and realistic if “Anatomy of Passion” and other dramas reflected the reality that social problems are permanent and cannot be neatly separated into their own corner when it is most important. comfortable.


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