Recently, the off-camera dramas on "Grey's Anatomy" have overshadowed the show's surgeries, hookups and fallouts.
Now Katherine Heigl, who plays Dr. Izzie Stevens on the ABC series, is speaking out about co-star Isaiah Washington's use of an anti-gay slur and his subsequent quest to seek treatment.
"If it were ignored or just brushed under the rug, I would be angrier about it," she said on "Good Morning America. "But he's trying very hard. We're all trying very hard."
Heigl said that the cast usually got along well and that the set felt "like work as usual" now that Washington had returned.
"I, obviously, have been very verbal about all of this, but there isn't a lot going on right now," she said. "We're all hopeful. … It's a great group of people, and we work really well together. We work really hard, and it's unusual that we do get along as well as we do."
"Grey's" recently won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards. Heigl especially relished the SAG recognition.
"We got our own awards, and I've never won anything before," she said. "I've been doing this for a really long time, and you always work hard, but there's something so sweet when people appreciate it and they watch you."
While "Grey's" ups the ante on personal drama in the hospital, Heigl said that in talking to doctors and medical interns, she was surprised to find that many of the show's plot lines happened in real life.
"I always thought we were soaping it up a little to make it more interesting," she said. "The reality is, I've run into interns and doctors who say it's really like that. There's a lot of relationship stuff going on."
As for this month's episodes, Heigl hinted that viewers would be surprised but she remained tight-lipped about specific events.
"It's a huge, three-part episode that I'm really excited about. We're doing things we haven't done before," she said. "All the interns have to rise to the challenge and … they have to use what they've been taught to save a lot of lives."
When she's not playing an up-and-coming surgeon on "Grey's," Heigl is working with dog food manufacturer Pedigree to increase awareness about dog adoption.
"They [Pedigree] have a drive this month doing all kinds of things to get people to adopt because there [will be] 2 million dogs that go without homes this year," she said.