Ellen Pompeo, star of ABC's long-running blockbuster series Grey's Anatomy, is now the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama. In a new essay published by the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, Pompeo recalled her path to success and shared words of wisdom for others in the industry looking to get their due.
When directing episodes of Grey's Anatomy, for example, Pompeo makes a point to be inclusive during casting sessions and the script development process. "I get so much more out of [the actors] that way," Pompeo said. "I don't know if you listened to Jay Z's latest album, but in one song he talks about how all the white guys own the record labels and they say to these artists, 'Oh, here's a $3 million advance,' while they're making billions. The artists are chasing Grammys and Lamborghinis, so they think, 'Oh yeah, I'm rich.' Meanwhile, Sony just made fucking $500 million, and they gave you $3 million and you think you're doing amazing."
Jay Z's foray into the streaming market with Tidal, Pompeo added, is a great example of artist empowerment. "With Tidal, Jay Z's empowered artists by giving them a piece, and it makes them more invested," she said. "I love it. And I think, like the music business, we need to get to a place where actors have more ownership over what they do. That should be part of this conversation we're having now."
As for recent Tidal developments, former Kobalt Music Group president Richard Sanders took over as CEO in August 2017, months after Sprint announced its 33 percent stake in the streaming service. That stake, Variety reported, is worth an estimated $200 million.