All ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans remember the comments Katherine Heigl made about the show’s alleged working conditions back in 2009 on David Letterman’s late-night show. She had told the host, “Our first day back was Wednesday. It was—I’m going to keep saying this because I hope it embarrasses them—a 17-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean.” Those comments sent her career spiraling and permanently labeled her as “difficult.”

Now, however, amidst the protest by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), new light is being shed on the conditions for more than 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers in theater, television, and film productions, highlighting first and foremost the long, unhealthy working hours.

In an Instagram post on September 24, 2021, Heigl applauded them and revisited her old comments “about the absurdity of the working hours crews and actors were being forced into by production.” She explained that she was publicly shamed back then for seeming “ungrateful or precious,” and forced to step away from her career, but that even though she still struggles with her insecurity, she remains steadfast in her comments from a decade ago. “So I speak up today and say with zero hesitation or regret…14, 16, 17, 18 hour work days are NOT safe,” she wrote. “They are NOT healthy. They can not and should NO longer be tolerated.”

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