Inside Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes’ fall out with Katherine Heigl

Grey’s Anatomy has been going strong for many years now, with season 19 finally here - but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the beloved medical drama. One of the show’s leads, Katherine Heigl, left the show in 2010 during season six - reportedly due to a falling out with the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes. 

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Back in 2008, Katherine - who played Izzie Stevens on the show - withdrew herself from being nominated for an Emmy Award, despite winning for Best Supporting Actress the previous year, saying that she "did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination". 

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In Lynette Rice’s book about the show, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy, Katherine was quoted as saying: "I thought I was doing the right thing. And I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t snubbing the Emmys. The night I won was the highlight of my career.

"I just was afraid that if I said, 'No comment,' it was going to come off like I couldn’t be bothered [to enter the race]. I could have more gracefully said that without going into a private work matter. It was between me and the writers. I ambushed them, and it wasn’t very nice or fair." 


Katherine played Izzie on the show

Shonda spoke about the Emmy incident during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, explaining: "On some level, it stung and on some level, I was not surprised. When people show you who they are, believe them."

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She also confirmed that Katherine would not be returning to the show after the 27 Dresses actress said that she would be interested to reprise her role. Speaking to TV Guide, Shonda said: "It was really nice to hear her appreciating the show. We are on a track we have been planning, and the idea of changing that track is not something we are interested in right now."


Katherine left the show in 2010

The Scandal creator also referenced the actress back in 2014, telling The Hollywood Reporter: "There are no Heigls in this situation… I don't put up with [expletive] or nasty people. I don't have time for it."

In 2021, Katherine opened up about comments regarding her attitude on set, telling Washington Post: "I may have said a couple of things you didn’t like, but then that escalated to ‘she’s ungrateful,’ then that escalated to ‘she’s difficult,’ and that escalated to ‘she’s unprofessional.’ What is your definition of difficult? Somebody with an opinion that you don’t like? Now, I’m 42, and that [expletive] pisses me off." 

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