Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) relationship is one of the most iconic in the Grey’s Anatomy universe. Their romance was as embedded into mid-2000s culture as Paris Hilton, Juicy Couture tracksuits, and chunky highlights. However, if Grey’s Anatomy were to premiere in 2018—in light of #MeToo and Time’s Up—their relationship would look completely different. In fact, it might not even exist.
That’s what GA showrunner Krista Vernoff told the Los Angeles Times in a new interview from this week.
“If you look at, for example, Meredith Grey [Ellen Pompeo] and Derek Shepherd [Patrick Dempsey] through the lens of Time’s Up and #MeToo, he was her boss, she was an intern, and she kept saying, ‘No, walk away from me,’ and he kept pursuing her, and that is probably not a story we would tell on the show today, and it’s a beautiful reflection of the changing times,” she said.
Vernoff says the show is taking active measures to ensure the on-screen romances mirror the changes in our culture. Look no further than Meredith’s relationship with resident Andrew DeLuca [Giacomo Gianniotti] for proof of that.
“This season, we’re doing a little bit of a reversal as we begin to build this love triangle that’s emerging with DeLuca as one the people in that triangle, and he is a resident and Meredith is an attending, and we’re having to address it differently than we ever would have before,” she said.
Vernoff continued, “We’re having to talk about and look at power dynamics. It is an ongoing conversation in the writer’s room. How do we tell that story in a way that feels honest and romantic and sexy and yet proactive and progressive?”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8 P.M. ET on ABC.