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Close up of Katherine Heigl at the Emmys© Getty

Katherine Heigl finally addresses 'unnecessary' Grey's Anatomy drama

The actress played Izzie Stevens in the hit medical drama 

Megan Bull
TV Writer
July 3, 2024
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Katherine Heigl has broken her silence on the Emmys controversy which erupted in 2008. Appearing on Shannen Doherty's podcast, Let's Be Clear, the actress – who played Izzie Stevens – was asked why she allegedly turned down a nomination for her work on Grey's Anatomy

"Well, I didn't, and everybody keeps saying that. I didn't turn it down," replied the star. 

Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens© Getty
Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens in Grey's Anatomy

"You know, you have to submit yourself. You have to submit your work, and then they deliberate and then they decide if they want to give you a nomination. I just didn't submit my work that year."

As fans will remember, back in 2008 Katherine released a statement in which she addressed the controversy. "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention," she said at the time. 

Katherine Heigl attends the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California© Getty
In 2008, Katherine allegedly turned down an Emmy nomination for her work on the show

Now with hindsight, Katherine noted that she could have handled the situation differently. "I should have said, 'Oh, I forgot [to submit my work],' because it created such a maelstrom that was so unnecessary, and it really was," she reflected.

"I was kind of trying to make a bit of a snarky point about my material that year, but I was also just not feeling my material. I didn't think I had anything that warranted even the consideration for a nomination. I just wasn't proud of my work.

"I would never be so bold or so arrogant to turn down a nomination," added the actress. "I would take that nomination if it came my way. I'd be down. But I just knew there wasn't anything that would really warrant one that year, and I was trying to be honorable, I guess. I was trying to have some integrity. I wasn't trying to be a [expletive]."

Katherine Heigl at NBCUniversal Upfront in New York City on Monday, May 14, 2018© Getty
The actress said she could have handled the situation differently

Following the Emmys drama, Katherine eventually made her exit from Grey's Anatomy in 2010. Her character, Izzie Stevens, was abruptly written out in series six of the hit medical drama, devastating fans. 

Behind the scenes, it was also reported that Katherine had fallen out with showrunner, Shonda Rhimes. Rumors of a rift between the two were further fuelled after Shonda quipped that there would be "no Heigls" among the cast of the political drama, Scandal

katherine shonda
Katherine reportedly fell out with Shonda Rhimes

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, Shonda said: "There are no Heigls in this situation," noting: "I don't put up with [expletive] or nasty people. I don't have time for it."

Responding to her comments, Katherine told Mario Lopez that she was saddened by them. "It sucks," she admitted. "I am sorry that she feels that way, and I wish her nothing but greatness, and I have nothing negative to say about Shonda."

Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and James Pickens speak onstage during the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)© Kevin Winter
Katherine enjoyed a reunion with her Grey's Anatomy co-stars at the 2024 Emmys

While Katherine's relationship with Shonda has been contentious at times, she remains on good terms with her co-stars. Back in January, the A-lister reunited with Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. at the 2024 Emmys, and they couldn't have been happier to see one another.  

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