A Grey’s Anatomy Without Grey

My Take on Ellen Pompeo’s Decision to Step Away From Grey’s Anatomy


Leading Actress, Ellen Pompeo

Hanna Grass, Writer

After 19 seasons of starring in the hit medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo, who portrays main character Meredith Grey, voiced a short but sweet farewell to the show and its millions of fans.

On Nov. 17, she captioned an Instagram post with sincere gratitude for the immense support her followers have shown, calling them “RIDERS” who made the journey “so fun and ICONIC!!” With upwards of 41 thousand comments on the post, fans were shocked, devastated, but most of all, supportive of Pompeo’s end of an era that for so long defined her.

As a previous watcher and fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I audibly gasped in response to the news. Grey was a defining influence on my pandemic lifestyle, as I first started the show whilst under the COVID-19 lockdown. I am unashamed to reveal that binging this series became a regular habit of mine during those isolated few years. The diverse community of medical specialists within the show became a second family; an outlet of socialization that at the time, was unachievable for myself. I watched as their storylines developed and the actors aged as episode after episode passed. For Pompeo, this transformation was especially apparent given she entered Season One at a mere 33 years and is bidding farewell at 53. Two decades will change a person immensely, and it is no wonder that Pompeo finally found a need for closure.

That being said, the actress has hinted that she will “definitely be back to visit,” giving fans something to anticipate in future seasons or commercial releases.

Despite my own disappointment, I am amazed and so thankful for the commitment Pompeo has displayed to the program. There will never be another Meredith Grey, and it is time for us viewers to accept that, no matter how disheartening it may be. Instead, we can celebrate the influence Pompeo had on generations both young and old. We can recognize the lessons Grey taught regarding perseverance and drive. We can appreciate the work of art that is Grey’s Anatomy and realize that Pompeo stood at the heart of it all.

Thank you for every beautifully crafted moment and glimpse into your soul within this series, Pompeo, I am so excited to see what you have in store for us next.