One of the main things you are taught in Intro to Writing classes is “write what you know.” And while many truly magical stories have been created by things we know nothing about — J.R.R. Tolkien created an entire language for his incredible novels — some of the best stories are pulled right from the writer’s lives. One of those writers, who based her scripts on her life, was Elisabeth Finch. Finch has written for the popular ABC show Grey’s Anatomy — created by Shonda Rhimes — since 2014.
However, it is now being reported that Finch may have fabricated large pieces of personal information about her life. This includes a cancer diagnosis. ABC — which is owned by Disney — has placed Finch on Administrative leave pending an HR investigation. Elisabeth Finch has also published stories about her life in pieces for Elle magazine, Shondaland.com, and even The Hollywood Reporter. The last of which is now reporting on her potential web of lies.
Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that Disney’s human resources and legal departments are conducting an internal investigation to determine if elements including her cancer diagnosis and abortion while undergoing chemotherapy, among other subjects, were not accurate. Reps for Shondaland did not immediately respond to calls and emails from THR. The Ankler earlier reported that an investigation was launched by Disney…
Multiple sources tell THR that the doubt over the validity of Finch’s personal details arose after the writer cited a family emergency and left the writers’ room to address a family matter. When colleagues phoned Finch’s wife, Jennifer Beyer, similarities to the story Finch told her colleagues and Beyer’s history matched. Beyer raised concerns with Disney and Shondaland execs, prompting Finch to be placed on administrative leave. Finch and Beyer are now said to be going through an “acrimonious divorce,” as one source described it.
THR spoke to some of Finch’s colleagues about the investigation, and they were shocked. Some have worked with Finch for years and do not believe that there is a “smoking gun” to conclude that she did in fact lie. Many of them have been supporting her through her journey and do not want to believe that she would lie to them about such life-altering experiences.
Finch has written for a number of other successful television shows, including True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Neither Disney nor Finch nor her representatives have commented on the investigation at this time.