Grey's Anatomy is one of the longest-running TV shows on air right now, and it certainly takes the cake for most outrageously dramatic show, no question. With 20 main characters leaving the show over the last 14 seasons, some getting killed and others choosing to leave, we've had a lot of heartbreak and drama to put up with on-screen.
But what most people don't know, but frankly should have guessed, is that there's just as much drama behind the scenes as their is on it. These are the craziest scandals involving the cast of Grey's Anatomy that we wouldn't be surprised if they influenced the show.
1. Doctor Drama
The show is centered around doctors, but real doctors don't appreciate the way they're portrayed. They also take issue with people who assume they know what to do since they've watched the show. Since its premiere, there has been an increase of people rushing into action when someone is in medical distress because they think they know what to do. This is not only dangerous to the person helping, but also to the person they're trying to assist.
Resident doctor Karen Zink said Grey's Anatomy gives unrealistic expectations to what a medical intern lives like.
“You are just dragging your butt, trying to stay alive. You don’t have time to do your hair. You don’t have time to put on makeup. Every surgical intern has bags under their eyes,” she said.
2. McSteamy's Misstep
Eric Dane, who played the now-deceased Dr. Sloan, known as McSteamy, found himself in some hot water in 2009. The good-looking actor made headlines after a sex tape involving him, his wife, and a former beauty queen surfaced online. Dane and his wife, Rebecca Gayheart, threatened to sue any other site that posted the video. They followed through with their threat when they sued popular website Gawker for releasing the video to begin with.
3. McDreamy Dilemma
What is it with all these good looking men and their sex-scandals, am I right? Long-time series regular Patrick Dempsey was killed off the show during season 11, and the general consensus is that it stemmed from a extra-marital affair he was having with someone on set. The name of the person was not revealed, but it was believe she was young and impressionable.
“It was obvious to everyone Patrick was [sleeping with] her," sources said at the time. "It got very messy and emotional on set and became a huge liability.”
The affair made things awkward on set, and everything started to go wrong. This is what prompted show creator Shonda Rhimes to end Dempsey's contract, as it went against her strong "no BS" rule. Dempsey's team denied the rumors, but after it was leaked, his wife of 15 years filed for divorce.
After his character was killed off, Dempsey managed to repair his relationship with his wife, which only adds fuel to the fire. Something about the show triggered their divorce, or so it seems.
4. Character Chaos
For most people, they're given fair warning before their firing has been announced to the entire world. That doesn't seem to be the way Shonda Rhimes operates, however. Her characters on Scandal only find out about their deaths a few minutes before everyone else, but even that's better than what happened to Grey's regulars Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw.
Drew and Capshaw, who play April Kepner and Arizona Robbins respectively, were seemingly blindsided when the news of their departure.
“Thank you for all of the love,” Drew wrote. “I know you’re sad. I’m sad too. I haven’t really had the time to process this information. I’ve been with it for less than 48 hours, so I’m not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later. For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet."
Fans were upset not only that two of their favorite characters were leaving, but also that the announcement was made on International Women's Day. Yikes.
5. Life Imitating Art
Like I said, these men need to chill out with their hormones while on set. Although in this case, it's allegedly one of the women, too.
The only other main character remaining besides Meredith Grey is Alex Karev, played by Justin Chambers. Fans have watched as Karev went from a womanizing sleaze ball to a guy who just wants to settle down after a rough life. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened in real life (allegedly.)
Back in 2014, rumors started running wild after it was believed that Chambers and his on-screen love interest, played by Camilla Luddington, were actually having an affair off-screen. Sources reported the two at bars around Los Angeles kissing and holding hands, but both their reps were quick to deny the reports.
Chambers has been happily married for 23 years to his wife, Keisha, and they share five kids together. Luddington had her first child with partner Matthew Alan in 2017.
6. Izzie Issues
Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens is one of the most polarizing characters ever to appear on Grey's Anatomy. Personally, I found her whiny and annoying, but others seemed to love her (though I have no idea why). But despite my opinion on her, in 2007 Heigl won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
However, the next year, Heigl didn't even enter her name into the running for the award. Why? Well, Heigl believed the writers hadn't done a good enough job at writing her content that "warranted an Emmy nomination." That went over about as well as a lead balloon. The writers were pissed, and the actress was labeled as a diva from there on out.
She managed to last a few more years before finally being written off the show. Rhimes later spoke out about the issue when talking about the actors on another one of her shows.
“I don’t put up with bulls–t or nasty people. I don’t have time for it," she said. “There are no Heigls in this situation.
7. Acceptance Aversion
In 2007, at the end of season three, Dr. Preston Burke was written off Grey's Anatomy in an extremely unflattering way. He left his bride-to-be, Cristina Yang, at the altar. Ouch. People who had previously supported Burke were no longer fans, which seemed to be the whole point. It was hard to imagine why such an important character would be written off the show, but then word of his homophobic behaviors surfaced.
Isaiah Washington, who played Burke, started displaying homophobic tendencies on the set of Grey's. He called fellow co-star T.R. Knight, who played George O'Malley, a "f***ot", which was only made worse when Knight came out as gay soon after. Washington then used the term backstage at the Golden Globes while trying to defend himself. He was fired for his actions and was essentially black-listed from Hollywood.
8. Race Relations
The most recent Grey's scandal involves Isaiah Washington again, except this time he's looking for redemption. In an interview with TMZ, Washington said that it was a racist executive at ABC that lead to his firing, not his homophobic words, and that creator Shonda Rhimes knew all about it.
"I just had an hour long conversation with Shonda Rhimes and she said, and I quote, she has really nothing good to say about ABC or Howard Davine, and his racist, biased behavior," Washington told TMZ.
"She thinks, like 'Time's Up', he needs to be investigated," Washington continued. "I'm hoping the ACLU, Time's Up, I'm hoping the civil rights people go after Howard Davine. I would never even know who he was until this whistleblower brought him to my attention. How dare he speak ill of me when I have been able to carve out a minute sense of working after he made the decision to throw me under the bus, according to one of his employees."
Washington stood his ground on his opinion about Davine, but Rhimes has yet to comment on the allegations.