Isaiah Washington said Ellen Pompeo felt 'uncomfortable' with the idea of him playing her love interest, according to new book

Ellen Pompeo and Isaiah Washington Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
A new book with tell-alls reminds "Grey's Anatomy” fans that McDreamy could have been played by another actor.

According to the book, Isaiah Washington auditioned not for Dr. Burke's role as the lead, but for the lead.

Washington stated that he heard Ellen Pompeo feel "uncomfortable" about the casting.

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An all-new book that tells the story of Grey's Anatomy's untold past reminds readers that Meredith Grey's McDreamy could have been Isaiah Washington. Washington claims Ellen Pompeo was a reservation.

According to Lynette Rice (Editor at Large of Entertainment Weekly), Washington stated that he auditioned for McDreamy, but not Burke. According to Washington, Shonda Rhimes originally envisioned the character as a brain surgeon with a look similar to Dr. Ben Carson.

Washington was ultimately given the role of Dr. Preston Burke, but that's because Pompeo did not want him to play Derek Shepherd.

"There is a rumor that Ellen did not want me to be her lover because she had a Black boyfriend. According to Washington, the context was that she doesn't like white men." "I think she implied that her boyfriend might have had a problem about her doing love scenes together with me, so she felt uncomfortable."

Washington stated that he supported her feelings.

Ellen Pompeo attends GLSEN Respect Awards at Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, October 19, 2018, Beverly Hills, California. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for GLSEN

In 2007, Pompeo's ex-boyfriend and record producer Chris Ivery became her husband.

In an interview with The New York Post, the actress spoke out about her reactions to Washington being almost cast as McDreamy during the 200th episode.

Pompeo stated that Rhimes wanted "a Black man to play Meredith's lover interest", but the actress "didn’t believe they were going to put an inter-racial couple on the show."

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"And I didn’t want him. She told the Post that it was too close to her home. "I told the Post that I wanted that Dempsey child."

Shonda Rhimes, executive producer (L), and Ellen Pompeo, actress, speak on stage during the panel discussion 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Scandal', and 'How To Get Away With Murder' at the ABC Entertainment section of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, August 4, 2015. Beverly Hills, California. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Although Pompeo was hesitant about Washington's firing from ABC's medical drama in 2007 because she used a homophobic slur while on set, she is a strong ally for people of colour.

In 2018, she also famously called out the lack diversity in the room while on set for a Porter magazine interview about "Women in Television".

She said, "This day was incredible." "There are a lot of women in this room. But I don’t see enough color. When I entered the room today, I couldn't see enough color."

"How to Save a Life" provides new information and reminders about the ABC drama.

Insider reached out to Washington, Pompeo and Rhimes representatives but they didn't respond immediately. ABC representatives declined to comment.

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