“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo made waves last month when she publicized her hefty salary bump, a move she now says was to encourage more women to ask for higher pay themselves.
In a Thursday appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Pompeo explained her decision to go public with her $20 million payday in a Hollywood Reporter cover story, saying that it’s on women to ask for what they’re worth.
“People are blaming people,” the actress said. “There’s a lot of finger-pointing, but there’s less people owning up to their side of things. I wanted to do a truthful interview and talk about my road to my own empowerment … and mistakes I’ve made along the way.”
“As women, it’s not only about
what’s done to us or what’s not given to us. It’s what don’t we ask for,” the she said. “As much as we can point the finger at other people and [say], ‘You don’t give us or you don’t treat us fairly,’ we also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, ‘Did we ask? Did we step up and have the gumption to ask for what a man would?’ We have to own part of it.”
Pompeo recently renewed her contract on the ABC medical drama through Seasons 15 and 16, setting a record as the highest-paid dramatic actress on TV with a $20 million salary.
She now earns $575,000 per episode, a seven-figure bonus, back-end points on “Grey’s,” a producing credit and an executive producing credit for spinoff “Station 19.” All of that, she said, were her demands to continue with the hit show following Patrick Dempsey’s departure and creator Shonda Rhimes’ move to Netflix.
“Sometimes we’re too shy,” she told Kimmel. “We’re too afraid to be seen as difficult — to really speak our mind.”