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Ellen Pompeo Once Got Into Trouble With Grey's Anatomy's Head Honchos Over A Tweet

When a show has been on the air for more than ten years, it's unlikely the faces you see on the screen will be the same as when the show first started. Take Dick Wolf's "Law & Order," a series inviting more leads onto the show than Owen Wilson's said "wow" in his life.

There are exceptions, though. It's difficult to imagine "Law & Order: SVU" without Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson. Ellen Pompeo has headlined "Grey's Anatomy" for 19 seasons, debuting as the lead on the ABC drama in 2005. Pompeo stars as Meredith Grey, a character viewers have watched go from student to full-blown leader at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Actors like Isaiah Washington and Katherine Heigl came and went over the years, but Meredith Grey became an anchor for viewers. 

Pompeo moved to a producer on "Grey's Anatomy" in 2017, and she's also directed a couple of episodes, but even she is not above being admonished by the higher-ups. According to the actress, she was in trouble over a tweet about Meredith Grey and a doll being used in the show's 17th season. 

Ellen Pompeo got in hot water for comments about a Meredith Grey doll

During an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in October 2021, Ellen Pompeo (who is happy with her decision to leave "Grey's") revealed she was asked to take a tweet down about a Meredith Grey doll being used as a stand-in for Pompeo while her character is in a COVID-induced coma. Producers thought Pompeo was spoiling the mystery for the audience. 

"They said, 'You're ruining the illusion for the audience,' and I said, 'The audience can't possibly think that's me,'" Pompeo told Kimmel. The actress revealed the doll was latex, and as the season progressed, the doll was showing some wear and tear. Pompeo said she wanted to tweet the doll to tell people it wasn't her lying in that hospital bed looking lifeless. 

In a July 2021 interview on InStyle's Ladies First podcast, Pompeo also detailed why the doll was made in the first place, saying it was done as part of a series of precautions against COVID-19, especially for Pompeo, who has asthma. 

"I think the idea of getting COVID was pretty frightening for people with asthma before the vaccine. So, it was a way to mitigate my time on set and to keep me offset as much as possible, so they made this doll," she said.