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A Grey Area: In Defense of Katherine Heigl

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Could there be a worse career move for an actress than telling the truth? Mark Harris of Entertainment Weekly takes a look at the strange case of loquacious Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl and is wondering this very question.

Heigl, 29, who won an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy Award last fall for Grey's Anatomy, is not among this year's nominees. We all know why.

But given the controversy caused by her decision to exclude herself from contention this time around, you'd think she had beaten up Dakota Fanning.

This was hardly the first time that Katherine Heigl's outspokenness has burned bridges or landed her in the middle of some kind of public squabbling.

Her contract negotiations with ABC went public, she chided Judd Apatow over Knocked Up, and then there was the whole Isaiah Washington situation.

Best Supporting Actress!

Plenty of people have said she should keep her mouth shut, be more modest, go to work, like it, and act like basically every other celebrity.

But do we really want our stars to be that boring? Is her honesty really such a terrible thing? Is Heigl's uniquely outspoken nature a drawback?

Continue reading in Entertainment Weekly ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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"Is her honesty really such a terrible thing? Is Heigl's uniquely outspoken nature a drawback?"
Oh Yes !! totally ! it is a drawback !! When it hurts others and harms their careers or reputations or their public image. Tact is a virtue to be appreciated amongst public figures, not so-called 'honesty'. Why does her honesty always excel at criticizm of others? If it can be called honesty ?? Looks more like attention-getting tactics. Her fans support her loud mouth everytime with applause >> so she obviously gets carried away hoping to ride forever on the publicity her big mouth generates for her. Wonder for how long ?
Where is her honesty when it's time to own up to her own booboos ??
Outspokeness is only good in a good cause. It is clear the only cause for KH is KH ! "Way to go hurtful loudmouth and there are plenty hypocrites like you, who outspokenly slam others when it is about others...and clam up about their own botchups." There are many hypocritical people who will use "honesty" as an excuse to say the most godawful things ever. Kids are truly honest that is why they can get away with it....not an adult,(professional)? actor in an industry where, 'one wrong word' can get you canned. Happened to IW did it not. Technically he was honest too if one goes to see. AND no Wicked ..she is not allowed to say anything just cause it is not a slur. A lot can be said w/o using any un- PC words. It is easy to do, and is just as bad. So if one public figure gets bashed for mistaken words then so will others. There should be no double standards. Maybe she thinks she is 'above the situation' as always..taking the high road is not just her privilege; it also belonged to others who get bashed with every breath they draw. Karma is equal for all. It won't just work against the fall guy who gets fired coz the gays got allergic to him. While media continues to be hateful and hound IW everytime he opens his mouth. They can see no good in him, but media sees no bad in so many other celebrity miscreants who use more than slurs. Double standards! Clear as day!

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OMG who said KH is the best actresses on the show??? Really ?I hope everyone is watching the same show and the same actors..whoever can call KH the best ...OMG!! Chandra Wilson.....yessss; Sandra Oh .....yes; Pompeo......yeah....and in that order. Then comes KH with a minimal flair for comedy and a complete lack of versatility and a complete lack of being able to carry any show. Only thing going for her >> Oh yeah, she does have a very fat mouth. Must be an alternate show if KH is found to be best...she's so indifferent to her acting that she cannot even hide it anymore ...and almost everyone feels that way and felt it all along even when she got an Emmy! Heck KH gets an Emmy over way better actors like..Chandra Wilson. Go figure.

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i think it is very important for the cast of grey's anatomy to be able to speak their mind without any fear of getting fired out of the show. since the isaiah washington controversy, i have come to believe that this show is clearly limiting the freedom of speech. i dont agree with washington, however, he did apologized publicly. but that was in the past, and the comment was offensive. but to fire heighl from grey's is just appalling and goes to show how shallow the whole team of this show is. obviously, heighl is one of the best actress in this show, she is genuine. and i understand her reasons behind the emmy controversy.how could i not? should i be nominated of something that is not worthy?
honestly, if they take her off the show, i would not watch grey anymore, no matter how hot dempsey is! and i have a lot of friends, who objectively standing behind heighl for speaking her mind. afterall, heighl fanbase is a lot more that pompeo's. seriously!!

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You see this sort of thing all the time in sports. When an athlete is at odds with the franchise, whether the argument is over salary or playing time, fans usually side with the organnization. Why? Because players come and go. The franchise endures and fans simply have a more deeply-rooted and stable relationship with the franchise than the player. See where I'm going with ths? Katherine's most vocal and trenchant critics are the most ardent Grey's fans. Interestingly, that most of her critics are female is likely a simple reflection of the fact that most fans of the show (and in particular the most passionate fans) are women.

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This thing has definatley been dragged through the mud, and those who are making a big stink about it are as ridiculous as those TMZ guys running the story. OH MY GOD, THE FREAKING GIRL WAS BEING HONEST! WE CAN'T HAVE THAT! RUN FOR IT! AARRGGHH! I am getting tired of hearing it, and tired of everyone on this board saying "She needs to keep her mouth shut!". Why should she? To the haters, tell me honestly, what harm is she doing to you by speaking her mind and expressing her own opinion? Is she really doing damage to you? Is it hurting your feelings? What if KH were to just randomly take you aside and tell you privately how she felt about her character not having an Emmy worthy storyline. Lets be honest here. Would you honestly tell her to "shut her mouth and just act?" Is it the fact that she said it publicly? She is allowed to do that. She didn't use a homophobic or racial slur. She stated that she wasn't thrilled with the storyline of her character. Is that a crime nowadays? She is obviously taking the high road and not complaining about the bashing. Sounds like she wants to move on. So lets all stop bashing the girl and move on and wait for season 5.

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heheheh. Vstewart, I'm glad someone finally brought up that LVAD wire nonsense. That was the time period when this show jumped the shark.Taht was a criminal act and would have mandated the involvement of the police. It was no longer a simple matter of hospital policy that could be resolved with a few stern faces and some stern words at a "Morbidity and Mortality" conference. That area would have been treated like a crime scene and Izzie likely would have (at the very least) lost her license. As I watched the show, I felt that the writers were painting htemselves into a corner. I couldnt see how they were going to keep Izzie on the show after that; and if she remained on the show, it certainly couldnt be as a practicing physician

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And I mean what Izzie did, cutting the Lvad wire- not Heigl.

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I've always liked how forthright she was (about Knocked Up and Washington) but this recent very honest bash irks me more. It's not that it's not true because I think she hasn't gotten a great storyline this year but with the writer's strike and the demands to have Mer/Der get back together, I feel like Grey's did a pretty great job making the season coherent. Ah well, Grey's will go on and she will go on, no matter what happens. (I always thought she should've been written off after Season 2 just because it never made sense to me that they would let her stay after what she did.)

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I'm sorry but i'm sick of hearing about this. It's been talked about so much I wish we can just move on and focus on whats going to happen in season 5 of grey's

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Iloveder, I agree with you in the sense of this whole situation being talked about every five minutes. We get it already, she snubbed the writers, people are mad, and now there are rumors that she is to be killed off. Enough already! However, this writer is right. Would it have been better if she'd said that she was an amazing actress and of course she should get an Emmy? Would it be better if we had just another stupid actress who doesn't give a crap about anything? I really like the fact that Katherine speaks her mind. Sometimes the way things are worded may not be in favor, but she does say what she thinks. Who knows, maybe one of those "actresses" she wanted to give a fair shot to was Ellen Pompeo--who has been really good as Meredith--and of course, we know Ellen was snubbed of that. Love her or hate her, but everyone has a right to their opinions and while some people might not agree with mine, some people are not going to agree with Katherine, and it looks like she's not going to care.