Actress Katherine Heigl has opened up on her struggle with being “publicly shamed and bullied” over the fallout from her criticism of hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy.
Heigl starred in the medical drama from 2005 until 2010, but gained a reputation as difficult to work with after making public complaints about her role in that and in the Judd Apatow film Knocked Up.
In 2008, she gave an interview describing Knocked Up as “a little sexist” and later said she hadn’t entered herself for the Emmys for Grey’s Anatomy that year as “I did not feel I was given the material this season to warrant a nomination.”
Although Heigl later apologised to Apatow and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, clarifying her comments were about her own performances, she said the throwaway remarks had had a huge effect on her personally.
She told The Telegraph: “It was this giant snowball effect. The more conscious of it I was, the more afraid I was, and the more I would say something stupid. It was this vicious cycle.
“It was a public shaming. Even a little public bullying. And I took it really, really personally.
“It had me confused about my own worth because I put all my value in other people’s opinions and suddenly those opinions changed.”
Saying that she “felt afraid” about people’s opinions of her, she explained that it made her react in a negative way but that she felt her attitude had changed in recent years.
After the controversy in 2008, Heigl said she began to worry about saying things that would offend people in every interview.
The actress said that she now felt less insecure and wasn’t so concerned about saying the wrong thing, adding “if somebody chose to take it that way, that’s on them”.
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