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Ellen Pompeo's Denzel Washington Story Has Grey's Anatomy Fans Reeling

"Grey's Anatomy" fans are no strangers to drama. They've tuned in to a full adult life's worth of medical adventures chronicling run-ins with lions, active shooters, and the fronts of public buses.

Thanks to a recent jaw wag on "Tell Me," series star Ellen Pompeo's podcast, viewers are getting an extra serving of sauce, this time rooted in the real world rather than a version of Seattle where people have recreational bazooka fights. During an interview with her old co-star Patrick Dempsey, Pompeo discussed the process of bringing the season 12 episode "The Sound of Silence," directed by none other than Denzel Washington.

The story took an uncomfortable turn when Pompeo relayed the fact that she had butted heads with the multitalented star of "Training Day" and "Flight," claiming that she had followed her gut and gone off script while shooting one of the episode's final scenes. Having noticed that the character with whom she was interacting refused to make eye contact while delivering an apology, she, as Meredith Grey, gave the instruction "when you apologize, look at me," prompting Washington to tear into her for abandoning what had been written for her.

And so began an inter-actor altercation so astonishing that it will live on in the memories of Twitter users for, like, at least two more days.

Ellen Pompeo had beef

To hear Ellen Pompeo tell it, "Denzel went ham on" her, informing her that he was the director of the episode and that it wasn't her job to give instructions. "I was like, 'listen motherf***er, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling, like, you barely know where the bathroom is.

"And like, I have the utmost respect for him as an actor, as a director and everything, but yo, we went at it one day." Pompeo went on to say that she refused to talk to Washington while the two were at odds.

The internet, being a digital town square from which to shout furiously, soon filled with furious shouts. Some took issue with the perceived use of AAVE vocabulary. Some were outraged by Pompeo's assertion that Denzel Washington, being a movie star, "doesn't know s*** about directing TV. Still others were confused by the dual meaning of "Ellen Pompeo and Denzel Washington went at it on set," as it was reported in a few headlines.

The good news is, there's theoretically no such thing as bad publicity. "Grey's Anatomy" is now officially back for its 18th season, with no known force capable of stopping it for years to come.