Shonda Rhimes wields a lot of power over her Shondaland empire, and that apparently extends to killing off characters for personal reasons.
During an appearance on “The Nightly Show” this week, Rhimes confessed to host Larry Wilmore that she’s axed an actor simply because she didn’t care for him (or her) — but she’s not telling who it is. The admission came during the regular “Nightly Show” segment “Keep It 100,” when Wilmore asked Rhimes point blank if she’d “ever killed off a character because you didn’t like the actor.”
Rhimes, who smiled and laughed as Wilmore’s question unfurled — including urging the showrunner to reveal the person’s identity — eventually gave a short, decisive answer.
“Yes,” Rhimes replied, “and I’m not naming names.”
Of course, that hasn’t stopped everyone from guessing just who the showrunner is referring to. Popular opinion suggests it’s Patrick Dempsey, who reportedly was fired from “Grey’s Anatomy” for diva-ish behavior, leading to his character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, getting killed off in a shocking episode near the end of season 11.
But there are plenty of other choices, too. “Scandal” stars Columbus Short and Dan Bucatinsky had memorable deaths, as did Derek’s fellow “Grey’s” doctors Mark “McSteamy” Sloan (Eric Dane), George (T.R. Knight), and Lexie (Chyler Leigh). (After all, Rhimes didn’t say it was definitively a male character.)
The world may never know for sure (but we’re pretty sure it’s Dempsey). Rhimes walked away with both a “I Kept it 100” sticker and some weak tea from Wilmore for her pseudo-confession; we’re hoping she’ll turn in the tea someday and really spill the beans.
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