Brooke Smith Fired From Grey's Anatomy

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Grey's Anatomy has officially cut ties with a female, outspoken, blonde doctor – and it's not Katherine Heigl. It's Brooke Smith. As in Dr. Erica Hahn.

As in half of Callica, Grey's Anatomy first-ever significant gay couple.

And that's only part of the story. According to Entertainment Weekly, this was not Shonda Rhimes' decision but rather an order that came down from the network.

An Intense Hahn

According to one Grey's Anatomy source, the suits at ABC "had issues" with both the explicit direction Callica was taking (think: undiscovered country, south of the border, etc.) and, more importantly, with the Erica Hahn character in general.

Basically, they didn't like her and wanted her gone ASAP.

But how soon? Follow the jump for Michael Ausiello's interview with Brooke Smith and a statement from Rhimes in response to this story at the end of the Q&A ...

EW: What the hell happened?!

Brooke Smith: I was very excited when they told me that Erica and Callie were going to have this relationship. And I really hoped we were going to show what happens when two women fall in love and that they were going to treat it like any heterosexual couple on TV. And so I was surprised and disappointed when they just suddenly told me that they couldn't write for my character anymore.

EW: That's all they said?

Brooke Smith: Yes. Frankly, it was you that warned me this might happen on the red carpet back in July. You said [sometimes networks get cold feet] with gay relationships. And I was so naive. I'm like, "It's 2008." But I'm starting to realize that not everyone feels the way I do. [Scroll down to watch our now-infamous exchange.]

EW: Did you get the feeling that the story was making people nervous?

Brooke Smith: No. At work I had no sense of it. And more fans seemed to like it than not. I don't think I'm ever going to know [why this really happened].

EW: When did you find out?

Brooke Smith: I found out in mid-September soon after shooting the monologue that aired last week where Erica has the revelation that she's gay. They even came down and told me it was a great scene -- one of the best they ever shot on the show. So I was really, really shocked. I was floored when they told me [I was being let go]. It was the last thing I expected. In fact, when they told me I asked, "When is this happening?" And they said, "The [next episode] is your last," which is the one that airs this Thursday. So it was very sudden.

EW: Wait a second – your last episode is this Thursday?

Brooke Smith: Yes.

EW: How are you written out?

Brooke Smith: I'm not written out. My final scene is just me heading to my car. I honestly don't know what happens in the next episode. I heard not much. [Quick sidebar: This sheds new light on Mary McDonnell's arrival next week as a top cardiac doc.]

EW: Who broke the news to you?

Brooke Smith: Shonda.

EW: I'm hearing that this wasn't her decision, but rather ABC's.

Brooke Smith: You know, I have to tell you, I got that feeling. I don't know for sure, but it definitely seemed like [Shonda Rhimes'] hands were tied. That was just my gut.

EW: Did she seem upset?

Brooke Smith: She did seem upset. I wasn't having a very good week that week. I was like, "Oh, God, what is it with this business?!" And she said, "No, no, no. You are such a great actress. We love you." It seemed like some decision came down from above. It didn't feel like it was her.

EW: What was Sara Ramirez's [Callie] reaction?

Brooke Smith: She was shocked. I'm the one who told her. It took her a few days to get back to me because she was surprised. It was surprising to everybody.

EW: Were you happy with the direction the story line was taking?

Brooke Smith: You know, I was starting to get there, yeah. I was personally a little impatient with the gay panic, but it was more Callie's thing anyway. I think Dr. Hahn was sort of figuring it out.

EW: What did you think about Callie and Mark and her getting pointers on exploring the "undiscovered country"?

Brooke Smith: It was a little icky. If you're a woman, don't you know how to please yourself? But they seemed to be okay with that one.

EW: How are you doing with all this?

Brooke Smith: It's actually never happened to me before. But I never had a moment where I thought I did something wrong. I was just really surprised. I just moved my entire family to L.A., so it was kind of like, "What?" But for some reason I feel like I'm fine. I feel like I'm going to be okay.

Shonda Rhimes' response to the matter:

"Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian, Erica Hahn. Clearly it's not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show – Calliope Torres. Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke's character would sustain in the long run. The impact of the Callie-Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with 'another lesbian.' If you'll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season."

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


I want erica hahn back!! She's a gorgeous character in GA. There was no point to fire her, she did a great job. I want her back!!


I'm so late to comment on this, but I would like to say that I'm glad that Hahn is gone. I really didn't like her. And, no, it wasn't because she was a lesbian. I didn't like her because her character was just such a bitch. And it wasn't even the type of bitchy character you love to hate. She was just annoying and, frankly, pretty cliche.


I think it was a huge mistake letting Brooke Smith go from the show. I think they should bring her back on the show like htey have done with Addison in past episodes. If they bring her back it would make tons of people happy and be a lot better for the show!




Brooke Smith is an amazing, exceptional actress. I thought her character was refreshing, and that she was a great addition to the cast. I really found her character enjoyable; sexy, sassy, and stylish. Shame on the "Greys" writers for writing her off the way they did. The show really lost a "GEM." Love ya Brooke!


No Erica wasn't a replacement for Burke she wasn't a Queer basher. I have set here this morning and read every page of these postings. And found that there were more people for this relationship, than was against it. Why are people so affraid of the things they don't know about? I don't know about hetrosexual relationships. But I don't bash those that live them. It is a shame in 2009 that we can not be free to express our self. Without being affraid of what might happen to us or those we love. This firing of Brooke Smith has shown just how far we HAVEN'T come.


I glad they dropped hahn,her character was annoying and no replacement for Burke. To be honest i felt their portrayal of a gay relationship was even more offensive then them not having one a all. I just felt it was shock tactics with callie getting lessons from Mark. They weren't 'breaking new ground', as some people are saying, there were two other shows running at the time when c/h started that were all about lesbians and abc was trying to compete with that.


Thanks ABC for proving to the rest of the world what a bunch of nasty, narrow-minded homophobes you really are! How utterly insulting for all gay people that you couldn't stay with the story! Hahn and Torres were great. I've had it with've lost me and I will happily dump the four series I have purchased. What a bunch of losers you really are! Thank god I am not American! Mind you what can we expect from a country that supports Proposition 8, rampant religious whackos and Sarah Palin!


I just can't believe this, I really can't. I mean, did they give a solid reason for firing her? Nope, didn't think so! They just fired her because ABC is too damn frightened of having a lesbian relationship in their show. Personally, I liked the addition of Hahn to the series, and when it turned out that she and Callie were going to have a relationship, I thought that was great. Not just for the show, also for the television in general - finally a well known series with a gay relationship! But as it turns out, they got cold feet and decided to abandon the Hahn-Callie relationship. Well, I know one thing for sure, and that is that if they don't tie up all the loose ends neatly now they simply cut Hahn out, I don't think I'll ever watch the show again.


I am really shocked by this I was wondering where Dr. Hahn went and personally I do not like where the show is going. I thought Dr. Hahn was a great addition I was a little upset at how Callie was portraying the idea of a lesbian. I mean come on like we need a man to show us how to please a woman. Its absolutely ridiculous but I loved Dr Hahn for her acting not for her sudden relationship with Callie but whatever. I just do not like where it has been going. Denny is back?? No Denny is dead its like they are searching for a story line but they just keep going back to the same old. I think I'm done with grey's which is sad cause I really enjoyed the first 2 seasons, and I leave the head big shots of ABC with this quote..."tolerance is the oil which takes the friction out of life" so grease up guys I think we as americans could all use a little less friction and stress so this is our country...let us be free.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.