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Emmy champ Katherine Heigl quits the race, blaming 'Grey's Anatomy' writers

June 11, 2008 | 12:19 pm

It's very strange that Katherine Heigl's name is not on the TV academy's list of Emmy contenders after she won best supporting actress last year for "Grey's Anatomy." Over the past few months, as Emmy campaign season began, Katherine Heigl didn't announce that she'd be bowing out. Her omission from the official ballot just happened to be noticed yesterday by one of our forum posters. So we asked Heigl: Whazzup?

"I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention," she tells Gold Derby. "In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials."


It's not uncommon for past winners to withdraw from Emmy consideration, but they usually do so because they're repeating champs who feel they've won enough and want to give others a shot. That's what Candice Bergen ("Murphy Brown") and Bill Cosby ("The Cosby Show, "The Bill Cosby Show," "I Spy") did.

But Heigl's only won once, and it was a jaw-dropping victory at that. She was so stunned to hear her name announced when the envelope was opened that she got caught on national TV gasping a profanity. Apparently, that's the same word she might use to describe what she thinks of the reduced story line she got on "Grey's Anatomy" this past season despite proving her dramatic chops at the last Emmys. Clearly, she believes she was gypped out of a juicy role in order to publicly declare that she wasn't "given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination." One of the few dramatic turns she had on the show this past season involved rescuing a deer that had caused a string of car accidents. Big deal. She didn't even get to rescue a human being.

Initially, when we spotted Heigl missing from the ballot, I wondered if she had just forgotten to submit her name for consideration. That happens quite often, but few stars admit it. One who did so, famously, was Tim Allen ("Home Improvement"), who staged an elaborate stunt back in the 1990s after confessing that he forgot to submit his nomination the previous year. The next year he had his paperwork delivered to the TV academy headquarters in North Hollywood by the University of Southern California marching band.

Hey, we're talking Hollyweird here. All sneaky angles must be explored.

I asked the posters in our message boards what they think. Some responses below. See more: CLICK HERE .

Neurotic21: "This was not Heigl's season and she didn't quite have the material to back up a potential Emmy nod. Honestly, I think that was nice of her to do because she would have made the Top 10 (run-off). The door is now open for another actress, who may have had that great season, to get into that 10."

venom9176: "This is a pointed slam at the material she was given this season; there is going to be far more fallout from this than from pinning the blame on her publicist or agent or whoever was supposed to submit her. If she was going to lie to spare their feelings, she almost certainly wouldn't use this as a reason."

Michael Kennedy: "I think she is noble for doing it but I also agree that this is a slam at the show/writers/material given. She is not so innocent here -- had she felt someone else deserved a chance she should have said that and left it alone. She made a point to say it was material, what other reason would she say that for other than a slam? Remember this is the girl that made bad remarks about 'Knocked Up' after it was released and made her a movie star!"

(Photo: ATAS)

The comments to this entry are closed.


I think katherine heigl is alsome and I think she will always will i go out of my way to watch her movies and the only reason i started watching greys anatomy is because of her an now i love that show so i will always be behind Katherine Heigl.

The writers were always bad (according to your description anyway) since the show has never been good, so you really can't blame it on the writers considering they're the same one's that wrote for it when it was "popular" (although it never really was). The writing is only as good as the actor, so that should let you know where the blame belongs in this situation. KH never takes any blame for her own problems, she passes it off on everyone else. If she "spoke her mind" then she'd have nothing to say. She's a typical dumb blonde that gets by on her looks. There's nothing special or unique about this piss-poor actress airhead. The only "hit" she's had is 'Knocked Up' and that was only a very MILD hit, so people really need to stop making such a big deal about her. Ya'll little defending dopes for Katherine will find out the hard way this year that they don't like people badmouthing their crew - when she gets killed off in the first episode of the new season. Cheers. Airhead will leave the building.

what is with the writers for this show...I cannot believe the poor content of material...ok the angel
) is gone...but the goings on in this hospital is so far fetched...and stupid. It is like you are groping at straws...and how much longer will Meredith and Derrick go on acting llike they have the same fear of commitment everyother weekend on opposite weekends. Give it up ...this show needs new are putting this show in the trash can.

She is so full of it! I hope they fire her - i can't stand her pathetic character IZZIE!?@?! She was off doing movies that is why her character didn't do much and talking about the sexism in knocked up- well didn't she read the script before agreeing to do the movie - crying about it after the fact is dumb and stupid STUPID! The girl can't act so I don't know why she thinks she can be a big star. She is forgetting that in grey's anatomy she has a supporting role like many others - sharing the spotlight - Izzie is not the main female lead, thank god. Some people forget who to thank and she is one of them. I wish for her what she deserves (and it isn't fame and popularity.) Please Shonda get rid of her - have an ambulance run her over.

Katherine speaks her mind. That's why it took so long for the industry to recognize her talent. She's been acting since she was a teenager on both stage and screen, large and small. She is well trained and has worked with some great talents. She obviously has high standards for herself and the productions she is involved in. Wouldn't you want good material to work with. That shouldn't be too high of an expectation for a show of this caliber. With the writer's strike affecting the entire season this last year, I applaud her stand. You go girl!

well this opens up a spot on the top ten for one of the BSG supporting actresses! Assuming they're on the list, the list won't load for me.

Look, this is clearly either ego out of control or a calculating mind at work. Frankly, I think it's both. There's NO question she took a shot at GREY's writers or producers with this comment. Come on, let's be honest: no star takes themselves out of Emmy contention and that kind of media spotlight (as the article notes even Bill Cosby didn't do it until after he'd won MULTIPLE times) unless you're trying to make a very LOUD point -- most likely to get out of a contract you're unhappy with (which Heigl has already stated).

Even though she bad-mouthed KNOCKED UP it was a hit, so she wants to concentrate on film. Heigl (or her agent) is smart enough to realize showbiz careers go as fast as they come. She knows big screen hits will translate into bigger paydays AND (assuming she picks the right projects) better career longevity.

Of course, before leaving a huge hit like GREY's because she's convinced she's such "a star", someone should give Heigl a refresher course on the brilliant career of McLean Stevenson and his epic decision to leave MASH at the height of its popularity. Or how about Denise Crosby who walked away from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION after Season One thinking she was bigger than the show? Yeah, great idea giving up THOSE syndicated TV royalties for life (insert mocking eye roll here...)

Perhaps if Heigl wants a career in Hollywood, she should shut her big mouth up - she is biting the hand(s) that feed her with her Knocked Up comments & the Emmy...By the way, she isn't all that anyway..

I hope katherine never makes a mistake or ever says anything that she wishes she hadn't said,because we all do at one time or other.Thats the way we learn and grow and change,we all can't be as perfect as she thinks she is.

Oh, stop whining... how self righteous can you get? Her performances are tedious. She uses the same tone of voice, the same facial expressions no matter what the situation. Sandra Oh is the star on that show. She can play humor, sadness, professionalism, anger, anxiety, etc. George is a whiner too. Can't he show some grit? He's probably a good actor - enough with the puppy-dog expressions and victim attitude!

Katherine is a big crybaby & not that great of an actress to start with. She's always whining about something. She thinks she's far better than she is!!!

I think this has been blown way out of proportion. She wasn't "slamming" the writers. This article seems fairly slanted to me; an attempt to start drama. Katherine Heigl has every right to say that she doesn't feel that she was given emmoy-worthy material. I supported the writer's strike, but it meant that when the shows came back--the ones that did, that is--the material was rushed, and even my favorite show currently airing, Bones, felt given up on. They had so much to do in so little time that the shows that made it back before season's end were not up to par. And kudos to her for admitting it. It doesn't seem like it was said with malice--just that she felt let down about her character development (or lack thereof) this past season.

This is why I love Katherine Heigl. Because girl knows how to work the system. Were any of you people who are commenting on this even thinking about a Katherine Heigl last week? No. But she (and her publicity people) knew by doing this, she would get MAJOR press. And she has, which raises her profile more than any potential Emmy nomination could. Now she's that spitfire young actress everyone hates. Movie & TV studios don't care about who people like, they care about who people talk about and are interested in. Way to play 'em, Katherine!

I used to really like her - now I can't stand her. It's as if she expected to be nominated even though her work was subpar when in reality she wouldn't have anyway. Her ego will kill her career.

There are no small roles, only small actors.

Katherine asked for a pay raise, the Grey's powers that be released to info to the media, and it got ugly. Giving her a horrible script this season was their punishment. How dare a lady ask to be paid what they pay the men. Or what they pay the one note (tuned to nausiating pitch) lead 'actress'. Everyone posting here should be aware that the network Katherine works for loves to punish it's stars, in public, if possible. Another example: Julianne Hough is the most brilliant dancer DWTS has, but she went and cut a record deal on her own and was punished with the worst of this season's lot as a partner. Shame on ABC.

Heigl didn't deserve to win the first time.
She is the worst actress on Grey's. The only reason she won is because of her looks. It seems like every time she opens her mouth she sounds more obnoxious.

Okay, she's not that good to start with. After her little temper tantum about Washington I can't stand her. She may want to take her own advice and just be quite about it.

Who cares? If it means there's more room for the ladies of "Mad Men" on the ballot, then that's fine by me.

It bothers me that so many are saying this will allow Chandra Wilson or Sandra Oh to win. There are more TV shows out there, guys.

January Jones for the win - she's the thinking man's Katherine Heigl, if you ask me.

GOOD FOR HER. I applaud Katherine Heigl for her gracious decision. Emmy history suggests as reigning winner, chances were good she would receive a repeat nod. But did the material available for her to submit warrant a nomination, or another trip to the podium? Unfortunately, no.

Fans and critics began to decry Grey's Anatomy's decline in earnest with the inexplicable onset of Gizzie‘s storyline, and (even more inexplicably given Heigl's raised profile and Emmy win, as Mr. O'Neil points out) Izzie faired little better independently of the unfortunate pairing. Deer healer? Cafeteria hood? What a waste, Grey's.

Candor is a rare commodity in Hollywood, and Heigl continues to impress me, not just with the high caliber of her acting, but also the high caliber of her person.

I agree with Fred Chang. It is actually refreshing to hear someone HAVE opinions instead of the mindless, oh-so politically correct press statements issued on their behalf. Katherine is a star, she possess talent and beauty. What a rarity to have the courage to speak her mind, even if it is damaging. I like that in a person. Now do I agree with her ? No. I find her comment ungracious and self centered, but at least she had the balls to say what she thinks.

Peggy Lane O'Rourke

Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you (again).

I have 2 words for Ms. Heigl- Sean Young

Didn't she have her daughter on the season this year? How about her confrontation with Callie and Karev leaning on her shoulders? I thought she had a couple strong enough episodes for submission. It's Sandra Oh and Chandra Wison's turn anyway, both of them have been stellar since Season 1, it's their time to win.

I think that a lot of people were shocked when Heigl won last year. (Including herself and her mom.) There's nothing wrong with being attractive, but you couldn't help wondering - did she get it because she's a curvaceous young blonde? Maybe she wants to be taken seriously, and she doesn't want other people resenting her for receiving something she hasn't earned.

I'm sorry, but all of this talk about Heigl being noble and doing "a decent thing" is hogwash. She is obviously trying to coerce the Grey's writers into giving her juicier storylines. I am sure she was not thinking about anyone else but herself when she withdrew from the race. It was an opportunity for her to lash out at the Grey's writing staff. I find her comments inappropriate. What a diva!




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