Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid actress on a television drama after signing a two-year extension with Grey's Anatomy, giving her $575,000 per episode back in January.
Pompeo revealed her $20 million dollar payday to The Hollywood Reporter at the time, but told Jimmy Kimmel Thursday she came forward about her salary to teach women a lesson.
"As women, you know, it's only about what's done to us or what's not give to us. It's what don't we ask for," the actress said to Kimmel on his show Thursday night.
"... I think that as much as we can point the finger at other people and [say], 'You don't give us or you don't treat us fairly,' we also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, 'did we ask? Did we step up an have the gumption to ask for what a man would?" "We have to own part of it," she continued.
"And sometimes we're too shy; we're too afraid to be seen as difficult to really speak our mind... People are blaming people. There's a lot of finger-pointing, but there's less people owning up to their side of things."
The 48-year-old goes on to say she wanted to do a "truthful interview," and delve into her own road to empowerment, along with the mistakes she's made along the way.
During the interview, the Grey's Anatomy star said that despite being number one on the call sheet, it took many years for her to learn to fight for her payment and recognition. A big part of that came after the departure of Patrick Dempsey, who played Dr. Derek Shepherd, in 2015.
“For me, Patrick leaving the show was a defining moment, deal-wise,” she said. “They could always use him as leverage against me — ‘We don't need you; we have Patrick’ — which they did for years. I don't know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. “
"At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey's Anatomy and I'm Meredith Grey. They wouldn't give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn't I?” she asked rhetorically. “It's my show; I'm the number one. I'm sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, "I'm not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house."
With this new deal, Pompeo will get credited as an executive producer both on Grey's and on the upcoming firefighter spinoff Station 19, which is scheduled to premiere with a two-hour special on March 22.