But while race dominated the conversation, some coverage has been fixated on one reference the actress made to former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey, who played Pompeo’s on-screen love interest, Derek “McDreamy”Shepherd, left the ABC medical drama in 2015.
“We haven’t spoken since he’s left the show,” Pompeo confirmed when asked about her current relationship with Dempsey.
She went on to praise Dempsey as a “wonderful actor” and made it clear that there’s no bad blood.
Ellen Pompeo through the years
Ellen Pompeo through the years
Ellen Pompeo during 'Catch Me If You Can' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during 2002 Toronto Film Festival - Motorola 'Moonlight Mile' Party at Power Plant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Actress Ellen Pompeo stars in the fall movie 'Moonlight Mile' with Jake Guylenhall, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon. Here she is photographed in Wattles Garden Park. 08/23/2002 (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Ellen Pompeo (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during DreamWorks Premiere of Old School - Arrivals at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Ellen Pompeo at the The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during 'Collateral' Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals at Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during Prada Opens Beverly Hills Epicenter - Arrivals at Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo during 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room at The Shrine in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Ellen Pompeo (Photo by Gail Oskin/WireImage for PMK/HBH)
Ellen Pompeo wearing Gucci 2562S Sunglasses (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during 'Chanel' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during Opening of the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum at Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Ellen Pompeo at the Social Hollywood in Hollywood, California (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Ellen Pompeo during 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06: Actress Ellen Pompeo arrives at the Madonna and Gucci Host 'A Night to Benefit Raising Malawi and UNICEF' at the United Nations on February 6, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Ellen Pompeo arrives for the 34th Annual People's Choice Awards - Arrivals held at Nokia Theater at L.A. Live on January 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Actress Ellen Pompeo attends the grand opening of Marquee Nightclub at Marquee Nightclub In The Cosmopolitan on December 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
GREY'S ANATOMY - 'It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)' - Miranda continues to deal with the aftermath of Ben's reckless decisions and forms an advisory committee to recommend proper disciplinary action against him. Meanwhile, April and Jackson try to put their differences aside for the sake of their baby, and Arizona makes a decision that could affect her relationship with Callie forever, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, APRIL 14 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Mitch Haaseth/ABC via via Getty Images)ELLEN POMPEO
GREY'S ANATOMY - 'The End is the Beginning is the End' - Meredith, Derek, Cristina and Arizona receive big news regarding the plane crash lawsuit, Richard avoids Catherine's romantic advances and Jackson takes on one of Mark Sloane's old patients. Meanwhile, Derek begins recovery on his hand, on 'Grey's Anatomy,' THURSDAY, JANUARY 17 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images)
ELLEN POMPEO, SARAH DREW, SANDRA OH
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Ellen Pompeo arrives at the 3rd Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic held at Will Rogers State Historic Park on October 6, 2012 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 11: Actress Ellen Pompeo arrives at Rihanna's First Annual Diamond Ball at The Vineyard on December 11, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Ellen Pompeo attends a private dinner hosted by VOGUE to celebrate TOD'S Creative Director Alessandra Facchinetti on November 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for TOD'S)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Actress Ellen Pompeo attends the 'Welcome to the Age of Cool' event hosted by Philosophy and Ellen Pompeo on September 22, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03: Actress Ellen Pompeo attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on December 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Actress Ellen Pompeo is seen outside 'Good Morning America' on November 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
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Today.com was one of many outlets to focus on the McDreamy angle rather than Pompeo’s discussion of race, and the erasure clearly stung. When the Twitter account for Today’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb shared a story about her comments about Dempsey, Pompeo fired back.
Hey here’s a suggestion!! Maybe all of you over there lay off the booze and pay attention to the real conversation that took place ? 🍷🍷🍷😜😜😜 https://t.co/JJ5SUG9pgc
The “booze” remark was a reference to the hosts’ habit of enjoying the occasional drink on-air. While Gifford and Kotb have yet to respond, many of Pompeo’s followers were living for the clap-back.
It’s upsetting to see the vast majority of people not even paying attention to the real conversation. We have the opportunity to bring up & discuss these important topics, but most people are out here focusing on the less important things. Now is definitely not the time for that.
So sad that this is the only thing everyone talks about. I am really sorry ell. but there are also people who listened to what you said. also even if you and Patrick would hate each other, we could be sad about it, but it is not our business!!
Pompeo also retweeted a comment expressing dismay that the show’s tackling of racial issues was “overshadowed” by headlines trying to stir up drama about her and Dempsey.
@EllenPompeo Such a great interview 👑 but sad how an important conversation that was about race & family is overshadowed by the last question on how "Ellen & Patrick didn't speak since he left the show" The media should do much better & even fans who just picked up on just that.