Ellen Pompeo is adamant her multimillion dollar Grey’s Anatomy salary deal was down to perfect timing.
The actress went public with her new salary in January, confirming she had signed on for two more seasons of the ABC medical drama with a deal that will see her earn $20 million per year.
Ellen opened up about the contract on Tuesday to Entertainment Tonight, admitting “timing was everything” when it came to signing her deal, referring to recent movements #MeToo and Time’s Up for their role in improving Hollywood pay equality between the sexes.
The 48-year-old actress, who plays Dr Meredith Grey in the long-running series, added that she benefited from having “hard facts” on her side when it came to negotiating, citing her stance as the longest-tenured original cast member and producer on the show, which helped her quantify her value to the network company.
“The studio didn’t have two key players to leverage against me,” she shared. “They no longer had Patrick Dempsey or Shonda (Rhimes). They had nobody left to hang the franchise hat on.”
Earlier this year, the mom-of-three discussed her decision to announce her new deal so publicly, conceding she had “caught a little flack” for sharing details of her financial bump.
“That was a tricky situation, because you don’t normally want to talk about money and talk about your salaries,” she told ET in May. “It’s admired and celebrated when a male athlete does it, and I think that’s precisely the reason why I decided to do it.”
But she admitted that the overriding response has been positive, with many women finding the move “empowering and helpful”.
“I can’t tell you the amount of women who have approached me and just want to hug me and thank me for the audacity to be bold and maybe even a little crass, but authentic and explain my journey and my shortcomings, as well as my successes ” has made it all worthwhile,” she smiled.