That, at least, is the word from series creator Shonda Rhimes, who says flatly that reports about Heigl and Knight leaving are “not true.”
“That was a very interesting rumor,” Rhimes told People at the NAACP Image Awards Thursday night. She also says Pickens’ remarks earlier this week were “absolutely taken out of context.”
“Things happen, and … I think rumors become fact very easily,” Rhimes said. “And you know I don’t like to tell you what’s going to happen on the show — but that is a rumor.”
(Here we insert the obligatory background about Heigl making noise last year about not feeling like she got good material and reports that Knight has been unhappy with his diminished role on the ABC series. You know the story by now.)
Pickens, for his part, now says he wasn’t speaking specifically about his fellow actors’ future on the show. “We’ve been living with these rumors for a long time,” he told the magazine. “When the question was posed to me, I was more trying to congratulate Katie and T.R. on whatever they were going to do. But yeah, I don’t have any special info about it either way.”
So when Pickens said “Yes, she is” in response to a question about whether Heigl was leaving Grey’s Anatomy, he apparently wasn’t speaking about any specific date. And ditto for Knight wanting “to pursue other career paths” — you know, whenever, sometime in the future.
It’s my job to report on this information, but man am I tired of it — even moreso because the last few episodes have actually been pretty good, now that we’re past the weird Denny’s a ghost-no he’s not story from early in the season. So if I could ask a favor of the Grey’s cast and crew, it would be to keep trying to do good work, and bring all those “friends” and “spies” who are always being anonymously quoted talking about what you’re doing in line. It’s getting hard to watch the show without thinking about all the off-camera nonsense, and that does no one any good.