Shonda Rhimes Bids Farewell To Ellen Pompeo After Sudden Grey's Anatomy Exit

"Grey's Anatomy" showrunner Shonda Rhimes has reacted to Ellen Pompeo saying goodbye to her on-screen role on the ABC medical drama after a whopping 19 seasons. It was announced in August that Pompeo wouldn't be appearing in as many episodes of 19 as fans may have expected, with TVLine claiming her main character Meredith Grey would only be in a limited amount of episodes. It was later confirmed that Pompeo's character would in fact be leaving the show, while the actor told Deadline about her on-screen departure, "I'm going to always be a part of that show. I'm an executive producer... It's my heart and soul. I'll never truly be gone as long as [it's] on the air."

The news no doubt came as a bit of a shock to fans, as Pompeo had always been the stalwart in a revolving door of castmembers. She has, however, hinted a few times the end of the show (or at least the end of her time on the show) was drawing a little closer. "We're getting there. Shonda and I will make that decision together," Pompeo told Us Weekly back in 2018. "I think that one of the biggest lessons that this show has taught me and being on this show for so long has taught me, is that relationships do change," she added. So, now the time has come, what did Rhimes really make of Pompeo exiting stage left?

Shonda Rhimes had some sweet words for Ellen Pompeo on Instagram

Shonda Rhimes had her say on Ellen Pompeo's on-screen departure on Instagram on November 17, where she suggested there's no drama surrounding the star's decision to step back from appearing on-screen. Sharing several photos of them together over the years, she wrote in the caption, "What a wild ride these past 19 seasons have been. None of it could have been possible without the incomparable @ellenpompeo, the one and only Meredith Grey. This isn't a goodbye, it's a see ya later! Can't wait to see what's in store for Ellen, Meredith and Grey Sloan Memorial."

In the comments section, Pompeo shared her appreciation by writing, "Thank you Queen!!" alongside a kissing and red heart emoji. Plenty of others were clearly feeling the emotion and speculated what the star's exit could mean for the show. "Ok now the show definitely has to wrap up..... it's not 'Grey's Anatomy' without Meredith..." one person wrote, though another pleaded, "DO NOT END THE SHOW. Too hard to handle Mer leaving, can't imagine [seeing] the show end at same time!!!"

Rhimes' post came shortly after Pompeo shared her own words on Instagram referencing her on-screen exit, in which she wrote, "I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!" She then thanked all the fans of the show and promised she'd be back to visit the set.