Ellen Pompeo Defends Alex Karev's Grey's Anatomy Ending After Fan Outrage

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Fans are furious about the farewell Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) got on Grey’s Anatomy. Fans learned he was leaving in January, and there has been feverish speculation about how it would happen.

Showrunners opted to not show his face on his final episode Thursday, but did have him say “goodbye” to his friends—and his wife—in letters he sent from a farm in Kansas where he’d gone to live with his ex-wife Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) to raise their five year-old twins.

Fans are PISSED. Wrote one: "I am gonna pretend Alex Karev is dead and DID NOT abandon his entire family for Izzie Stevens.
Others prefer to believe he’s dead: "I have decided that Alex Karev died on the way to see his mum and his body was never claimed. End."

ELLEN POMPEO 

The reaction was so severe, showrunner Krista Vernoff issued a statement defending the move: "It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev."

Co-star Ellen Pompeo said: "I say often life is hard and thank God it is because like I tell my kids... it shows us what we are made ...of how strong we really are and let’s face it... without the lows there would be no dancing it out or celebrating this incredible experience we call life. Thanks to our national treasure @therealdebbieallen and the writers for giving Alex Karev the best send off. Thanks to @shondarhimes for creating the most amazing character."

The 50-year-old: "For me personally for Karev to go back to the beginning.... was the best possible storyline. It pays homage to those incredible first years and the incredible cast ...that created a foundation so strong that the show is still standing. So let’s not be sad. As our fearless leader DA always says let’s PULL UP and celebrate the actors the writers and the fantastic crew who make this show come to life every week. No matter what the challenge or how tired we all are in the end... you keep us going.....That is worth dancing it out over! So much love and gratitude to you all."