Katherine Heigl got fired from Grey's Anatomy

by Paul William Tenny

Katherine HeiglMichael Ausiello wrote last week that Katherine Heigl and the studio that produces Grey's Anatomy are working to release her from her contract. She's getting what she wants now, freedom to go do lame movies. But let's not pretend this is some mutual and friendly agreement to part ways.

Katherine Heigl whined, publicly insulted and shamed her show and everyone that works there, embarrassed herself, and finally just stopped showing up to work until the studio was essentially forced to fire her.

She's been the definition of an unprofessional nightmare over the past few years. After winning the Best Supporting Actress Emmy in 2007, Heigl she told the Los Angeles Times that she withdrew her name from contention in 2008 because "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination."

Regardless of whatever talents Heigl may have, nobody wins an Emmy for acting without a good and talented writing staff standing behind them. Television dramas are not improv, every word Heigl uttered on Grey's Anatomy in 2007 when she won an award was written by the same people she had just slapped in the face.

None too happy with being attacked like that, someone working on the show ran to Entertainment Weekly to (anonymously, ugh) hit back:

The show bent over backwards to accommodate her film schedule, and then she criticizes the show for lack of material?" the insider said. "It's an ungrateful slap in the face to the very writers responsible for her Emmy win in the first place.

It's not uncommon for no-name actors to want to want to get away from grueling television schedules and into feature films after being discovered on a new show that becomes a major hit. It's also not uncommon, from what I understand, for producers to work with those actors to juggle their shooting schedules so that they can run off for a couple of weeks and do a movie, but only if that doesn't unreasonably interfere with the show's production.

But then you hear stories from time to time about people like Heigl who disrespect the show and the people that made their career and generally act like ungrateful little runts as they wind down their contract, and can jump ship into the magical feature film career that almost never materializes.

It wasn't too long after this mess began that another story popped up in EW. More anonymous sources working for the show were saying that creator and showrunner Shonda Rhimes was really upset and that the writing staff were contemplating killing off Heigl's character.

Naturally it didn't end there.

Talking about her first day back on set, Hegil went on David Letterman's show and did what she does best: she whined some more.

Our first day back was Wednesday and it was -- I'm going to keep saying this because I hope it embarrasses them -- a seventeen-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean.

Ken Levine had this to say about it (and he would know how these things work):

What she neglected to add was this: This "cruel" shooting schedule was only to accommodate HER and her needs. The producers graciously shuffled things around so she could go off and do promotion for her new film. Also, with union rules, the producers had to pay a ton of overtime and penalties to make this happen. The thanks they get is Katherine Heigl going on national television hoping to embarrass them.


So let's recap. Katherine Heigl whines that she can't do enough movies after she signed a binding contact to do a TV show for X number of years. Then after her writing staff delivers her Emmy-worthy material, she insults them for not doing it two years in a row. Then she goes on national television and insults them again for making her work long hours in order to accommodate her film career.

And now she's being fired.

Why is that, do you think?

After taking more than half of the current season off to make another movie and connect with her adopted daughter, Heigl -- who picked up an Emmy in 2007 for her Grey's work -- was scheduled to return to the Grey's set on March 1 to begin work on the five remaining episodes of the season. There's just one problem: March 1 came and went and there was no Heigl.

The story noted that this might have been because things came to a head and both sides agreed that there was no point in her showing up, and that they should simply end it right then and there. But there's a problem with that: it should have never happened and it caused unnecessary problems. Even if Heigl wanted out of her contract and the studio was willing to let her go, it should have happened after the season was wrapped. All the scripts for those last five episodes had been written months before. Now they would all have to be rewritten in a big hurry, costing even more money, creating more delays.

All because Queen Heigl couldn't wait five more episodes to quit the show that made her a star in the first place.

I feel deep sympathy for the poor people on the features side that are going to have to put up with this loser, and I can't imagine the relief for the cast and crew of Grey's Anatomy that won't have to put up with Katherine Heigl ever again.

in Television


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