Rhimes, author of The Year of Yes, executive producer of "How to Get Away with Murder" and creator of everyone's favorite TV shows ("Scandal" and "Grey's") appeared on "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" Thursday night. During a Q&A with the host, Rhimes admitted to doing something we all thought was true.
"Have you ever killed off a character because you didn't like the actor?" asked Wilmore. "And, extra bonus points, who was it? Don't even think about lying."
"Yes," said Rhimes. "And I'm not naming names."
Well, we can try to name those names for her. Let's look at the theories surrounding some of Shonda's departed characters:
1. Columbus Short
While this theory is floating around, it's unlikely that Rhimes killed him off of "Scandal" because of personality issues. It's more likely that she killed off Harrison Wright, aka Short, because the actor got into a bar fight, was involved in a domestic assault cause with his then wife and battled with substance abuse issues.
2. Eric Dane
Dane, better known as "McSteamy" on "Grey's," died following a plane crash on the show. McSteamy did have a little drama in his personal life -- a sex tape involving a threesome with his wife -- but it's not known if that affected his Shondaland lifespan.
When talking about his character's death on HuffPost Live, Dane didn't sound like there were any hard feelings toward McSteamy's 2012 exit.
"You can't stay on a show forever. Nobody stays on a show forever," said Dane. When talking about his character's gruesome death, Dane said that was pretty typical for Rhimes. "That's 'Grey's Anatomy.' That's television. That's Shonda television."
Would we say with absolute certainty this is the person Rhimes killed off for personal reasons? Probably not.
3. Dan Bucatinsky
Bucatinsky, otherwise known as Cyrus' former husband James Novak on "Scandal," suffered a shocking death at the hands of Shonda. But since he was technically cast as a guest actor, we can't imagine that Rhimes thought he would live longer than a few seasons.
"I think James was poking the bear a little too much this season," Bucatinsky told HuffPost Live after his character's death. "That was leading to a very big move narratively."
Was he killed off for a personal vendetta? Again, unlikely.
4. Patrick Dempsey
"D" is for Dempsey + Derrick = DUH. This HAS to be the actor Rhimes was talking about! The actor's shocking death as Dr. Derek Shepherd rocked the core of Grey's fans (including those who stopped watching long ago).
"Meredith and Derek’s love had to remain Meredith and Derek’s love," said Rhimes to reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour. "So as painful as that was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me was that Derek was going to have to die in order for that to remain honest."
Aside from that lovely PR spin on Derek's death, we're more willing to believe his exit was because of his rumored affair and his apparent diva-like behavior on set. Can we prove it? Nope. Do we believe Dempsey is the person Rhimes is talking about? Hell YES.
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