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Grey’s Anatomy star blasts Emmy Awards for lack of racial diversity

Ellen Pompeo

Amy Sussman/AP

Ellen Pompeo has raised the issue of racism to voice her displeasure with Sunday night's Emmy Awards.

As reported by Associated Press, the Grey's Anatomy star says she "was really disappointed" by the sea of white faces on display at the annual TV awards show held in Hollywood.

"I didn't see any diversity in the Emmys at all," Pompeo told an AP reporter on Monday. "The Emmys felt so dated to me. … That dance number was embarrassing. Did you see one person of colour in that dance number?"

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Pompeo, 43, plays the central role of physician Meredith Grey on ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama's ensemble cast includes several African-American characters, one Hispanic character and one Asian-American character (played by Ottawa-born Sandra Oh).

"I'm extremely proud of our very, very diverse cast which represents the world that I walk around in every day," Pompeo said.

But is Pompeo's shot at the Emmys simply a case of sour grapes? Since launching in 2005, Grey's Anatomy has received a respectable amount of Emmy nominations but few awards. Over nine seasons, Grey's has collected a grand total of four Emmy trophies.

The show's most notable Emmy victory occurred in 2007 when Katherine Heigl was named outstanding supporting actress for her portrayal of medic Izzie Stevens. The show's other Emmy wins have been in the categories of makeup, casting and guest star performance.

Or could it be Pompeo was just attempting to drum up interest in a prime-time soap that was formerly among the most-watched hours on American television but has slipped markedly in viewing audience of late (finishing 26 th overall in U.S. ratings last season).

Grey's Anatomy kicks off its 10 th season this Thursday night on ABC and CTV.

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