Shonda Rhimes by Craig Sjodin/ABC and Katherine Heigl by Bob D'Amico/ABC Shonda Rhimes by Craig Sjodin/ABC and Katherine Heigl by Bob D'Amico/ABC

At Thursday's ABC show-runners panel, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes took center stage as she was asked how she reacted to Katherine Heigl's recent statements in the press.

"It was surprising," she began tentatively. "We have a great working relationship, and Izzie is one of my favorite characters." She continued: "Katherine is an outspoken person, as you all know." When pressed for details, Rhimes offered: "I don't think she was insulting the writers. The first half of the season, her storyline was very comic. And during the second half, Katie asked me to write her light so that she could go do her movie," she said. As such, Rhimes appeared to hold no grudges, claiming that it's hard to understand the entire story. "These people are my family. We work together six days a week, 16 hours a day. I've watched as they've changed from lovely young actors to incredibly famous people."

Looking forward, Rhimes refrained from expanding on ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson's assertion that Heigl's storyline this season would be "central to the show." But she did reveal that, after consulting advisors from GLAAD, they found an "interesting, funny way of laying out the [lesbian storyline between Callie and Erica] that isn't your typical way to deal with it." Hmmm, consider us teased. - Mickey O'Connor

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