She cant act and she's a bitch. Some believe she is deeply troubled. Sara Ramirez, a magical actress with astounding pathos and dead-on comic timing, HATED working with her, much less kissing her. Smith, clueless and unreliable and without apparent ability, would act like she hated kissing a woman, stopping taping to "get herself ready" then, after ten lousy takes, act like she'd done Ramirez, and the show, a big favor.
Ms. Smith has a habit, apparently, when she gets work, which is rarely -- and almost always the result of her mother being the most powerful casting agent in Hollywood -- of immediately alienating co-workers with her bizarre behavior and weird emotional bullshit, all supposedly her way of "preparing". Crying jags. Imagined attacks. Deep paranoia. More than once she has accused male actors of touching her inappropriately. GAY male actors.
As a stage actress in New York, she had some success, but was as often fired, more often "quit", and left at least one high profile project due to "artistic differences".
Smith is a tall woman with a deep voice, odd eyes, and can make an interesting first impression. The problem is, as Rhimes often said in meetings, was that what you saw was what you got. There was no one home. She had one facial expression. Her line readings were flat. She had no comic timing. The camera did not like her face. Lighting was difficult.
Her fellow actors on "Grey's" were seen, all too often, rolling their eyes, sighing, trying to both hide and communicate their frustration. Rhimes, busy with her spin-off, but hating Smith's dalies from day one, was finally made aware of Smith's emotional problems.
One director on "Grey's" had to give Smith actual line readings, in front of other cast members, which, understandably, upset her, but, you have to get the scene and Smith was incapable of taking even the simplest emotional direction so, when instructed on how to say a line, she would cry, stomp off, call Mommy...
Add to that the fact that she's personally unhinged, insanely insecure, yet, perhaps because of who her mother is, polluted with a pathological sense of entitlement, and you have quite a problem. A problem that, with no talent to back it up, became paramount.
Shonda Rhimes wanted a surprising lesbian storyline, and good for her, but the reaction, even on set, to Smith's sexual scenes and dialogue, even her simple kissing scenes, came off as, rather than charmingly outrageous or surprisingly flirty, as disturbing and uncomfortable. As one cast member said: "Icky."
Dr. Hahn was to have a complicated storyline involving Ramirez and then, when their affair became known, hospital politics, but Rhimes and the cast, loathing Smith personally and all too aware of her limitations as an actress, decided to just, without even a proper explanation, cut her loose.