Meredith and Derek's Relationship Wouldn't Have Existed in #Metoo Era: Grey's Anatomy Showrunner


Since the release of Grey’s Anatomy in 2005, Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd have become relationship goals for fans all over the world even after Dr. McDreamy’s death.

However, despite their undeniable chemistry, their romantic storyline probably would have not existed today.

“If you look at, for example, Meredith Grey [Ellen Pompeo] and Derek Shepherd [Patrick Dempsey] through the lens of Time’s Up and #MeToo, he was her boss, she was an intern, and she kept saying, ‘No, walk away from me,’ and he kept pursuing her, and that is probably not a story we would tell on the show today, and it’s a beautiful reflection of the changing times,” Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview.

Wanting the show, created by Shonda Rhimes, to reflect the changing times, Vernoff says they’ve taken a different approach to season 15, particularly focusing on Meredith’s relationship with resident Andrew DeLuca [Giacomo Gianniotti].

“This season, we’re doing a little bit of a reversal as we begin to build this love triangle that’s emerging with DeLuca as one the people in that triangle, and he is a resident and Meredith is an attending, and we’re having to address it differently than we ever would have before,” Vernoff told the newspaper.

Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)

Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)

Ron Tom/ABC via Getty

“We’re having to talk about and look at power dynamics. It is an ongoing conversation in the writer’s room. How do we tell that story in a way that feels honest and romantic and sexy and yet proactive and progressive?”

While the show may have had its struggles when it came to the relationships between men and women in the workplace, it has helped shape the lives of many viewers and actors.

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October, Pompeo, 48, told Ellen DeGeneres about a teen actor on the show that revealed to her how the series helped him come out to his parents.

Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy

Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy

Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty

“A teenager was in the show, and he was gay, and played a gay character on the show. After we had filmed the whole entire episode he said, ‘My whole life I’ve watched the show with my parents and I’ve sort of used the show to tell my parents I’m gay,’” Pompeo said tearing up.

RELATED: Ellen Pompeo Explains Her Relationships with Grey’s Anatomy Alums Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw

“‘To show my parents: It’s okay that I’m not different and there’s nothing wrong with me. Grey’s really helped my parents to understand what having a gay son meant and that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.’”

Reflecting on the interaction caused Pompeo to become emotional. “I got to keep doing it, man, because we’re touching lives and making a difference,” Pompeo added.

Grey’s Anatomy season 15 premiered on Sept. 27.



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