Katherine Heigl Addresses ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Scandal 16 Years Later

Katherine Heigl Addresses ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Scandal 16 Years Later

Katherine Heigl’s personal history with Grey’s Anatomy may be even more dramatic than the show itself. The actor had an infamously prickly relationship with the series before exiting after Season 6, and one of the most public scandals came in 2008 when she withdrew herself from Emmys consideration for her work on the show. Now, 16 years later, Heigl is clearing up the rumor that she refused a nomination and sharing her regrets over how she handled that situation.

During her appearance on Shannen Doherty’s Let’s Be Clear podcast, Heigl corrected Doherty when she mentioned Heigl turning down an Emmy nom. “Well, I didn’t, and everybody keeps saying that,” Heigl said. “I didn’t turn it down.” Rather, Heigl chose not to put herself in the running at all, so she never even got a nomination to turn down. “You know, you have to submit yourself. You have to submit your work, and then they deliberate and then they decide if they want to give you a nomination,” Heigl said. “I just didn’t submit my work that year.”

The decision came as a surprise at the time, since Heigl had just won the Best Supporting Actress trophy the year prior. But when the 2008 Emmys came around, Heigl shocked the academy by releasing a public statement withdrawing herself from consideration. The statement read: “I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention.”

Heigl admitted she now regrets making that statement. “I should have said, ‘Oh, I forgot,’ because it created such a maelstrom that was so unnecessary,” she said. “I was kind of trying to make a bit of a snarky point about my material that year, but I was also just not feeling my material. I didn’t think I had anything that warranted even the consideration for a nomination. I just wasn’t proud of my work.”

She added that if she had gotten a nomination that year, she would have accepted it. But she just didn’t think she deserved one. “I would never be so bold or so arrogant to turn down a nomination. I would take that nomination if it came my way. I’d be down,” Heigl said. “But I just knew there wasn’t anything that would really warrant one that year, and I was trying to be honorable, I guess. I was trying to have some integrity. I wasn’t trying to be a d*ck.”

Grey’s Anatomy is reaching a significant milestone! On Monday, Disney, the parent company of ABC, shared on Instagram how the show celebrated reaching its 400th episode, which is also the season 18 finale. During the festivities, the network and studio “surprised the cast and crew with a stage dedication, permanently commemorating the show’s legacy at Prospect Studios as a reminder of the magic being made in that very spot,” according to a statement issued by the network.

The show’s crew and cast members, including showrunner Krista Vernoff, star and executive producer Debbie Allen as well as the leading lady Ellen Pompeo were in attendance. Series creator Shonda Rhimes can be seen making a virtual appearance at the occasion. Pompeo, 52, who plays title character Meredith Grey, was among those to deliver a speech during the cake-cutting ceremony. “You don’t get to this many episodes without this level of passion,” she said, according to the caption shared by the network’s Instagram Story.

Another post features a plaque engraved with the show’s name and description to honor stage 17 at Prospect Studios, where the filming took place. On her own Instagram, Allen marveled at a giant wall of photos from the show’s 18 seasons. “So many beautiful moments,” she says. “All of these great moments and relationships.” “This is incredible,” she continues. “This mural says everything about why this show is amazing and why you’ve got to keep watching. Allen adds: “Our children could end up being on this show. That’s how good it is — it stands the test of time.”

The 18th season marked the return of some familiar faces, including Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery as well as Abigail Spencer as Megan Hunt. The season finale will set to air on May 26 and will include Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew as fan-favorite couple Jackson Avery and April Kepner. Earlier this year, the show was renewed for season 19 after Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, 52, and James Pickens Jr., 67, agreed to sign a new deal with the network to continue to star in the medical drama. Grey’s Anatomy — which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC — returns to television on May 5.

Source: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images, Disney Studios/Instagram

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