A lot has happened in Grey’s Anatomy ever since it arrived in American television in 2005. Some of the show’s major characters have left the show, including Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek Shepherd, who was killed in Season 11. In a recent appearance on Ellen, star Ellen Pompeo hit back at haters who said the show would fail without McDreamy.

“It’s amazing how much you get done without a penis,” Pompeo joked on the April 25 broadcast of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She referred to Dempsey’s absence from the show since 2015.

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Pompeo also said that the cast and crew miss Dempsey dearly. However, she clarified that the show is “doing very well,” contrary to criticism that Dempsey’s departure puts Grey’s Anatomy at a disadvantage and that it would push the show towards a downward slope. According to Pompeo, she understands the viewers’ disappointment.

“I think the change is part of the reason why the show goes on so long. I think people tune in to see what is the show like now, what is Meredith going to do without Derek,” Pompeo went on, as quoted by Entertainment Weekly. She added that while change is upsetting, it is precisely that which turns the page to a new chapter in the story.

Ellen Pompeo also debunked rumors about Season 12 being the last for Grey’s Anatomy.

Patrick Dempsey played Pompeo’s onscreen husband until his character died in a car accident in Season 11. According to Us Magazine, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes hinted that she killed off McDreamy because Dempsey and Pompeo were having personal differences off camera. Rhimes also explained that it was “the only way to make Meredith and Derek’s magic remain true and remain frozen in time.”

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Episode 20 of Grey’s Anatomy Season 12 is a recent proof of the show’s continued success. The two-hour episode, which aired on April 21, had a viewership of eight million and a 2.2 rating from viewers aged 18 to 49 years old.