Ellen Pompeo on Remarks Appearing to Sympathize with Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Didn’t Know He Was a Rapist At That Point’

Ellen Pompeo presents the Lucy award for excellence in television at the Women In Film Crystal and Lucy Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Actress Ellen Pompeo, facing major backlash, said that remarks of her appearing to sympathize with Harvey Weinstein were made before she knew that he was a rapist.

The Grey’s Anatomy star took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to the criticism that she is facing over a video clip from 2018, in which the actress appears to be sympathizing with disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who was convicted of rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison last month.

“Hey girls sorry if video clips are upsetting!!” tweeted Pompeo. “Its out of context & it’s too serious a subject to talk about on a platform like this…people who have been abused or assaulted should seek guidance from a therapist… this is not a healthy place for topics this serious.”

The actress had been responding to a user on Twitter — named Becs — who appeared to defend Pompeo over the 2018 video, adding “the Ellen we know would never shame women.”

“i believe that [Ellen Pompeo] was talking about the culture in hollywood where women are conditioned to use their bodies to get a job,” said Becs. “she was asking women to take their power back. she wasn’t talking about blaming victims. the ellen we know would never shame women.”

“For those who feel offended or are taking this personally this panel was 2 + years ago and it was way before the whole stories of the women came out I Certainly didn’t know he was a rapist at that point … that took shit to a whole different level,” the actress explained.

Pompeo went on to clarify her remarks, claiming that she had been speaking about harassment — not assault — and that she was referring to her own personal experiences.

“And… I’m talking about harassment… not assault. Two different things. I was speaking about MY experience of being harassed in Hollywood and my outlook on it,” tweeted the actress.

Pompeo didn’t stop there. The actress continued explaining herself in several additional follow-up tweets.

“for years before times up women had to put up with harassment and still do on a regular basis …it was just part of the job as it is in a lot or all professions …we couldn’t complain like we can now,” said Pompeo.

“If we complained we would be out and the man would stay,” she added.

“& MY way of coping [with] whatever situations I’ve been in is not a comment on how other women handle things,” continued the In the Weeds actress. “again Thank God we can speak up now but once again assault and harassment are different both bad but different.”

“Not sure of harassment is seen by law enforcement as a crime,” she added.

Nearly an hour later, Pompeo followed up yet again to admit to her fans and followers that she had never actually read the reports when she made her comments, and that she had just realized the reports had been out for a while.

“Okay so I was just told The Times story was out before this but I didn’t read it,” said Pompeo. “I only was really following the story on the news once the trial began.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.