Ellen Pompeo revealed that there was an onset dispute between herself and guest director Denzel Washington in 2016. Pompeo has played Dr. Meredith Grey on the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy since 2005. When Washington stepped in to direct an episode, Pompeo said, he didn’t like her improvisational acting style.

In the Season 12 episode “The Sound of Silence,” Pompeo improvised the line “Look at me when you apologize – look at me!” Washington, however, immediately stepped in since Pompeo’s improvisation was not in the dialogue.

Pompeo didn’t hold back. “Listen, motherf—er, this is my show,” she recalled on her podcast Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo. “This is my set. Who are you telling? You barely even know where the bathroom is.”

Pompeo attributes the dispute to the fact that both she and Washington are actors. She later clarified that she still had the “utmost respect” for Washington as both an actor and director after receiving backlash online for her comments.

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