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Two Actors Are Leaving "Grey's Anatomy," But Ellen Pompeo Says Don't Blame Her New Salary

Pitting women against each other? On International Women's Day?!

Posted on March 8, 2018, at 6:55 p.m. ET

Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew are leaving Grey's Anatomy after Season 14, reportedly due to a creative decision, and not because of lead actor Ellen Pompeo's new landmark deal.

Happy #InternationalWomenDay2018 to this beautiful and glorious soul! I love you @JessicaCapshaw ! #kepzona

Via Twitter: @sarahdrew

The exit of Drew and Capshaw was first reported by Deadline, which wrote that the actors are leaving "on the heels of the blockbuster new Pompeo pact that gave her a significant salary increase, paying her as much as $20 million a year, including signing bonus, producing fees, ownership in the show and other extras.” Drawing a connection between the two did not sit well with either Pompeo or Grey’s co-showrunner Krista Vernoff — especially on International Women's Day.

Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against eachother on #InternationalWomensDay #shameonyounotme

I'm a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don't fall into that trap. This is above my pay grade

Vernoff was quick to dispel any rumors of malicious intent with a statement on Twitter, saying, "The decision to make changes to our cast was a creative one. The only thing as constant on Grey's Anatomy as Ellen Pompeo is our penchant for reinvention."

Regarding #GreysAnatomy and @EllenPompeo

Via Twitter: @KristaVernoff

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Vernoff added that sometimes, part of keeping the show moving is "saying goodbye to characters we love."

"The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew," Vernoff said. "As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses."

For their part, Capshaw and Drew have only indicated that they are sad to be leaving the show.

Via Twitter: @JessicaCapshaw
Via Twitter: @sarahdrew

And Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes tweeted a statement saying Capshaw and Drew "will always be part of our Shondaland family."

Thank you so much for your beautiful words @shondarhimes . I’m beyond grateful to you for all that you’ve given me over the past 9 years. This has been an unforgettable ride.

Via Twitter: @sarahdrew

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.