Eric Dane Explains Why He Was ‘Let Go’ From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’


While it seems like Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air for what feels like forever (19 years to be exact), there is one character that has never been forgotten: Eric Dane’s Dr. Mark Sloan.

ABC’s long-running medical drama had many memorable deaths over the course of nearly two decades, but none has been more chaotic than that of Sloan, also dubbed McSteamy.

The character was brought on in a 2006 season 2 episode and stayed on until 2012’s season 9 premiere, where he tragically died from injuries sustained in a plane crash.

Dane, 51, recently appeared on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Podcast” where he got candid on how his exit from the Shonda Rhimes-created show went down.

Related: Every Star Who Left Grey’s Anatomy: Where Are They Now?

The night … was March 27, 2005. Television titan Shonda Rhimes knew what she had just created — but audiences still had no idea. The Grey’s Anatomy pilot introduced several characters, including the show’s protagonist, legacy surgical resident Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Spunky, undoubtedly intelligent and full of heart, the show wouldn’t survive without its […]

“I think I was let go,” the Euphoria actor said, adding that at the time of his departure he was suffering from addiction issues.

In 2011, Dane entered a treatment center in California to deal with his prescription drug problem.
However, he insisted that the producers “didn’t let me go because of that.”

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Eric Dane
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“Although it definitely didn’t help. I was starting to become, as most of these actors who have spent significant time on a show, you start to become very expensive for the network,” he explained.

The Bad Boys: Ride or Die star went on: “And the network knows that the show is going to do what it’s going to do irrespective of who they keep on it. As long as they have their Grey, they’re fine.”

Ellen Pompeo has starred as the titular doctor, Meredith Grey, since the show’s inception in 2005. She took a step back from being a series regular last year but remains an executive producer, a frequent guest star and narrates each episode.

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The men of Shondaland (Shonda Rhimes’ production company) have been making viewers swoon since Grey’s Anatomy premiered in 2005. Patrick Dempsey — whose Grey’s character Dr. Derek Shepherd was nicknamed “McDreamy” — was never bothered by his  heartthrob status. “It’s not necessarily me, but it does help your ego,” Dempsey told Parade in 2008. Tony […]

Dane continued: “I wasn’t the same guy they had hired. So I understood when I was let go. And Shonda was really great. She protected us fiercely. She protected us publicly. She protected us privately. … But I was probably fired. It wasn’t ceremoniously like, ‘You’re fired,’ it was just like, ‘You’re not coming back.’”

He then revealed that when he first signed on to the drama, he had been sober for a few years. But the instant fame from starring on a hit network series took a toll on him.

“If you take the whole eight years on Grey’s Anatomy, I was f–ked up longer than I was sober. And that’s when things started going sideways for me,” he confessed. “It was overwhelming, and I think I just wanted to pretend that it wasn’t and that I was comfortable with it. Act like you’ve been there, but you haven’t been there.”



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