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Shonda Rhimes Says Heigl Asked for Lighter Material

Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes said she was surprised but not insulted when Katherine Heigl made her now-infamous comments about withdrawing from the Emmy race — and the reason is pretty intriguing.

"In the back half of the season, Katherine asked me personally to write her light so that she could do her movie," Rhimes told critics during a panel for ABC showrunners at the TCA press tour. She also noted that the way Heigl's storyline with TR Knight, who plays George, played out ended up being lighter than many of Izzie's previous stories.

Rhimes said she did find it "surprising" when that news hit the press. "I actually have a really wonderful working relationship with Katherine, and I love and respect her as an actress," she said. "Izzie is one of my favorite characters."

"It was surprising, but Katie is an outspoken person," Rhimes added. "I think we all know that already."

Oh, and no, she wouldn't say anything about killing Izzie.


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