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Grey's Anatomy Once Received A Note From The Network After Using A Certain Word Too Many Times

Long before Shondaland delivered us "Bridgerton" in all its bodice-ripping glory, there was the show that started the brand. "Grey's Anatomy" aired closer to 20 years ago than any of us would like to acknowledge and has stood the test of time. Not only did it introduce the world to Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and the now iconic dynamic with her and McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) following a one-night stand, but it has also thrown its viewers more over-the-top moments than one show could manage.

Ferry crash! Plane crash! Ghost Denny! There is seemingly nothing that the audience would not be able to accept within the halls of Seattle Grace — eventually, Grey Sloan Memorial. However, ABC does not appear to be as appreciative as fans of the long-running medical drama. Despite all the deaths, amnesia, and love triangles the network allowed, there was one note they gave that they deemed bafflingly significant. 

ABC missed the point of the series

The anatomy in the popular series may belong to Meredith Grey, but that doesn't mean it is equal. For almost two decades, the titular character drove uniquely female storylines, from friendships to bodily autonomy. But ABC apparently did not get the memo. Despite the predominantly female perspective, the network took issue with a simple medical term.

"[W]e'd once used the word penis 17 times in a single episode, and no one blinked," Shonda Rhimes told The New York Times. "But with vagina, the good folks at broadcast standards and practices blinked over and over and over." There can be no greater metaphor for gender double standards than a network raising complaints about calling female anatomy what it is. The "Grey's Anatomy" creator marveled at the fact, noting that people can be uncomfortable with the term. Rhimes lamented this, stating that it was: "a shame considering our anatomy is half the population."

This fact is even more so poignant when taking into consideration how the series started out; the showrunner has always been adamant about men taking a backseat to the most important love story of the series: Meredith and Cristina (Sandra Oh). Fans are well acquainted with Meredith and Cristina being twisted sisters and each other's person. Though the two have loved and lost together, "Grey's Anatomy" is, at its heart, a story about female-centric relationships. Calling into question this specific term is obtuse and largely missing the point.