Katherine Heigl Opens Up About Past “Cruel Working Conditions” on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Years After Being Called “Difficult”

@katherineheigl via Instagram

Grey’s Anatomy began in 2005 and is still going on, making it one of the longest dramas to ever be on TV. And while it’s a mostly positively received show, one of the main characters had made some comments 12 years ago about the poor working conditions of filming.

If you’re a fan of the show, you might recall that it was Katherine Heigl, who played Dr. Izzie Stevens on the show in the first few seasons. The actress called the crew out for making the cast work under the cruel conditions, which is part of the reason she left the show.

The comments were met with some backlash. People took it as she was ungrateful and even a bit unprofessional. Some people even went so far as to assume she was difficult to work it. And those words really bothered her in the past. So now, she’s reflecting on those comments she made oh so many years ago, and how it still affects her to this day.

She wrote her comments on a recent Instagram post in response to International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) strike, which has celebrities striking against production companies in protest of bad working conditions.

“Some of you may remember over ten years ago I was very vocal about the absurdity of the working hours crews and actors were being forced into by production,” she wrote on Instagram. “Even Diane Sawyer interviewed me and not so kindly informed me ‘no one feels sorry for you.’ I very publicly and for many many years after got my ass kicked for speaking up.”

“We are making entertainment,” she continued. “We are not solving world hunger or curing cancer. We are telling stories. When production plows into hour 14 and beyond they are asking our crews to drive themselves home bone tired.”

She went on to say that not only was it miserable, it was also very unsafe.

“The number of people who have fallen asleep at the wheel is staggering,” she wrote. “The number of accidents that happen on set due to exhaustion are shocking. Illness both mental and physical is off the charts. There is nothing glamorous or sexy about working past the point of exhaustion.”

She says that at this point in her life, she’s at peace with being able to say “no” if the conditions are going to be too hard—and she isn’t’ gong to feel a morsel of bad about it.

“When I first spoke up I was speaking on behalf of myself and my crew on Grey’s,” she went on. “Today things are a little different for me. I am in the fortunate position of being able to say no. To turn down a job if it requires more then I can bear. And in all honesty…I’ve kind of aged out of giving a shit if I piss people off by creating boundaries that protect my health, sanity and work.”

Check out the rest of her words in her post below!


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Have you ever heard that Katherine Heigl was difficult to work with? What do you think about what she has to say about her old working conditions?