Brooke Smith's 'Grey's Anatomy' ouster is not right and not okay

Dear Brooke Smith,

I’ve been a big fan of yours ever since you were stuck in the pit with Precious — the uninitiated should also check out your smashing turn as a pregnant "game-show" contestant fighting for her life in Series 7 — but your work last week on Grey’s Anatomy was perhaps the finest of your career. Your portrayal of Dr. Erica Hahn’s sexual awakening was funny and romantic and heartbreakingly real, and left me totally choked up. So imagine my surprise last night when my colleague Michael Ausiello broke the news that ABC execs didn’t like your character, and wanted her off the show, stat! (Was it the lesbianism they objected to, or the fact that Dr. Hahn didn’t bake muffins or decorate lockers or act generally flighty-flaky-cutesy or hook up with hot male colleagues to help her sort out her sexual orientation? Yeah, you could say I’m outraged.)

Anyhow, I’m hoping your abrupt dismissal won’t dissuade you from submitting the "You are glasses" scene (embedded below) for Emmy consideration next year. You’ve got to admit, it’s going to be poetic justice when you go up to the podium to collect your statuette and finish your acceptance speech by telling the suits at ABC to go suck an egg.

Here’s hoping it won’t take long for a rival network to get smart and sign you to a holding deal right away. I hear the folks at Fox actually have a thing for fiercely intelligent, highly capable, decidedly un-cuddly doctors. Give ‘em a call!


More on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ Brooke Smith:
Michael Ausiello’s Q&A with Brooke Smith about her shocking firing
A recap of last week’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
The best and worst moments of season 4 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Comments (272 total) Add your comment
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  • Kathleen

    Nuh. Uh. I have not been a long time watcher – I got sucked into Grey’s at the end of last season, and her character was one of the reasons. I don’t even know if I’m going to watch anymore. Lame.

  • bj

    I think it a sad day. To me sounds like ABC and Disney got cold feet and decided to pull their feet out of the water and decide not to portray a gay couple in a good light. I dont think my wife and I will be watching anymore Greys off the Season Pass now.

  • Anonymous

    I also read that Melissa George’s character that is coming on the show was supposed to be bi-sexual, but not anymore because of ABC directive.

  • JohnO

    This sucks. Brooke Smith was great on Grey’s. ABC execs need to wise up and stop messing with this show.
    Today was supposed to be a happy day with the election, and now ABC ruined it for me.

  • Jay

    I don’t believe this. I liked Erika cause she could be unlikeable, real and brutally honest with you. She really had me engaged in her storyline. I can’t believe she’s leaving. This just smell like a pile of doo doo to me.

  • coco

    Thanks Slezak. She is a fine actress, and ABC and Shonda have shamelessly destroyed a great storyine and a great character. It is 2008 and this is unf&%inckbeliabable!!!!! I am a huge Grey’s fan since day one and I am considering not watching the show anymore. You can’t get rid of characters like that. Now she is unemployed thanks to big bunch of ball-less idiots. Shame on ABC!
    I am looking forward to her future work. You go girl!

  • Susan

    I respect your opinion but completely disagree. I am so incredibly happy that she’s gone!

  • aliya

    Dear Slezak, please stop stealing the words from my brain before I get to say them. Thanks! I wrote it on Ausiello’s post, and I’ll write it here again: I’m done watching Grey’s, and I’m done with ABC. I’ll keep watching Pushing Daisies online, but otherwise, we’ve broken up. (Sorry, ABC! ….Oh, wait, I’m not.)
    Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I don’t watch TV too, ABC. You lose.

  • Mary

    I’m sorry Slezak but I did not like her she was a real jerk to everybody- last’s weeks episiode was a great example of it- she wouldn’t operate on the “inoperable” tumor until she was forced to and had a bad attitude the whole time…

  • Melanie

    I’m really, really disappointed in the interference by ABC on this one. She’s a fine actress and Dr. Hahn is a great character. Is she cuddly, not so much – but she’s not supposed to be. It’s really sad when a show that has been groundbreaking in its attempts to be a little more reflective of actual society is banned from actually being relevant. And btw, I’m a heterosexual female – I just think this is wrong. ABC go sell your advertising and leave the storylines to the pros.

  • Allison

    I’m supposed to be happy today! It’s election day! It’s Obama day! And now I’m just really sad. Damn you, ABC and Shonda Rhimes for making me sad today. It’s a shame, a disappointment, and complete cowardice.

  • Margi

    I don’t think it had anything to do with the lesbian storyline’s. The whole relationship would have been much better if the 2 women had kinda fallen for each other and did something other than experiment with sex. I didn’t care for Dr. Hahn and I’m glad she’s going. She’s an awful character.

  • junior

    ABC is an incredibly gay-friendly network so I don’t have a problem with them per se, I just think that “Grey’s” was just starting to get back into a groove and to mess with it now is stupid. Plus, adding TWO MORE CHARACTERS (both female, both white) is so crazy when they have Mark and Derek who literally aren’t doing ANYTHING EVERY SINGLE WEEK! How about we write for the characters we have and not shuffle them around like playing cards.

  • Ann

    I too am outraged and have to agree with Jay’s assesment below. I liked Erica’s unlikable qualities, it made her real. Besides, I only found her unlikable when she was in “doctor mode”. Outside the hospital she was almost like a different person, which I also found to be realistic. As a woman who has recently come out, I completely connected and related to Brooke Smith’s performance in last weeks episode. It was honest and inspiring. So, thank you to Brooke and I wish her nothing but the best. ABC and Grey’s Anatomy on the other hand…not so much.

  • snarky

    I really enjoyed Ms. Smith’s acting on the show and her storyline..shows that love is what really matters, not who you prefer. I agree with Slezak – Emmy nod all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!

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