Ellen Pompeo calls out lack of diversity in Hollywood and the media

Gina Rodriguez, Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union, and Emma Roberts during Net-A-PorterÕs Porter magazine roundtable interview, screenshot. (Net-A-Porter/Youtube)
(From left) Gina Rodriguez, Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union, and Emma Roberts during Porter magazine’s roundtable interview.

In a recent “Women in Television” roundtable interview for Porter magazine, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo called out the lack of diversity in Hollywood and media, starting with the publication itself.

“This day has been incredible, and there’s a ton of women in the room,” Pompeo said. “But I don’t see enough color, and I didn’t see enough color when I walked in the room today.”

The panel — which featured Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Gabrielle Union (“Being Mary Jane”), and Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story”), in addition to Pompeo — gathered to discuss the industry, with topics including fair pay and sexism. The Everett native spoke up when the conversation shifted to representation, emphasizing that off-camera racial equality was just as important as on-camera.


“. . . I had a meeting with a director of another endorsement project that I’m doing,” Pompeo continued. “I said, you know, when I show up on set, I would like to see the crew look like the world I walk around in every day. And I think it’s up to all productions to make sure your crew looks like the world we see.”

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People on Twitter praised Pompeo’s comments, including former ESPN journalist Jemele Hill, now a staff writer at The Atlantic, who tweeted: “White people sometimes ask me how they can be an ally. @EllenPompeo puts on a master class in how to be one.”

“As Caucasian people, it’s our job, it’s our task, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we speak up in every single room we walk into that this is not OK and that we can all do better,” Pompeo said. “It’s our job, because we’ve created the problem.”

Lillian Brown can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lilliangbrown.