Should Isaiah Washington Be Fired?

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Should Isaiah Washington Be Fired?
Should Isaiah Washington be fired from Grey's Anatomy for the gay slur he made in reference to T.R. Knight last fall?

The remark - which has come back to dominate entertainment news again after Washington's denial of the incident at Monday's Golden Globe Awards and T.R. Knight confirming to Ellen DeGeneres today that it did occur - is fueling intense debate among Grey's Anatomy fans and various organizations.

Some think that the issue has been dead for some time and should just be dropped, while others believe Washington should be let go. Count Michael Ausiello - the TV Guide sleuth who can always be counted on to find the latest dirt and tell you how he feels about it - among the latter.

Here's what he says on his blog, the Ausiello Report, responding to a reader inquiry as to whether he witnessed the Golden Globe implosion:

"I certainly was there, and I have the internal scars to prove it. It was by far the ugliest, most uncomfortable press-room moment I have ever experienced. And judging by the shell-shocked faces on the cast â€" particularly T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey, who have been class acts throughout this entire ordeal â€" it was a new low for them, too.

What's ironic about the whole thing is that in Washington's attempt to clear his name, he came off as an out-of-control homophobe who throws the f-word around like it's candy. He's also playing fast and loose with the truth. Did he call T.R. a fa***t to his face? No. Did he refer to him as one behind his back? Yes. T.R. says so himself on today's Ellen DeGeneres Show.

His continued employment on a show that wears its diversity as a badge of honor is the height of hypocrisy. If ABC wants to be remotely true to the principles Shonda Rhimes so eloquently espouses through the show, it has to do the right thing and fire Washington. Anything else at this point is simply unacceptable."

That's just the opinion of one TV critic. But the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is also demanding an apology.

The group's president, Neil Giuliano, said that the remark "does more than create a hostile environment for his castmates and the crew of Grey's Anatomy... It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm's way."

GLAAD has contacted Washington in hopes of setting up a meeting with the actor to raise public awareness about the destructive impact of comments such as this. No word yet on whether he or anyone associated with Grey's Anatomy have been reached or accepted the offer.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I don't think he should be fired, but I would like to see Eric Lasalle play a gay surgen on the set and show Isaiah up...ahh drama.


I wonder how many times Isaiah was asked about the incident on the set since last October. Do you think hundreds? or even more. He had an argument with Patrick Dempsey. In the heat of the argument he used an inappropriate term. He apologized for the altercation with Patrick and also apologized to TR because the inapproprite term he used offended Knight. End of story. Right? Wrong. The media wouldn't let it go. The online reporters wanted blood. They wanted to see Isaiah punished. They brought it up over and over again. They tried their best to instigate his dismissal the last time. I don't think Isaiah was in any way prepared for the backlash of that one ill chosen word. The level of hatred that was thrown at him I am sure was a complete shock. We have no knowledge that Isaiah has any kind of animosity towards gay people. He didn't say he hates gays. He has no history of gay bashing. He said he was not gay. If you said to someone, "Oh stop being so gay", would that make you a biggot and a gay hater? Would it have been better if he had said, "I'm not gay, like TR"? Is it reference to TRs gayness or the use of that particular word faggot that makes this so unforgiveable to people? I am sure that Knight is not ashamed of being gay. It is perfectly acceptable, right? So it must be the use of a term that people find derrogatory that makes this one incident so horrible. In their attempt to look out for the poor, hurt, now must tell the world he is gay TR, no attention was paid to the hurt and confusion that Isaiah must have felt when he became the brunt of all of the hatefulness. He went from the high of being a well respected actor on a hit television show to the villain who forced TR Knight to come out of the closet in a matter of minutes. Shonda made a statement that he would not be fired and even so every gossip website predicted that he would go. Beyond the one statement of support that seemed to be ignored by the Isaiah haters, what was done to help him respond to the media accusations? He was not allowed to tell what actually happened leaving it up to everyone's speculation, rumors, innuendos, and in some cases out right lies. In responding to the reporters after the GGs he is now being attacked for trying to say he did not call his cast mate a homophobic slur to begin with. It is only because TR is gay that this is an issue. If he said he had not called Patrick Dempsey a homophobic slur people would have heard this as a denial of wrong doing rather than as once again pointing out TRs gayness? It is sad that Ted from Eonline used that moment of celebration to ask about Isaiah's supposed homophobic slur. It is even sadder that Isaiah felt he had to respond, but completely understandable. According to his website, Ted asked specifically about "Isaiah's homophobic slur". He didn't ask in a general way. He used Isaiah's name in the question. It is not surprising that Isaiah felt he should respond. It was as much as an indictment that what was reported was true. Isaiah merely said it was not ture. He didn't do it in a thoughtful way, but the question came out of the blue. I think everyone was stunned by both the question and the response. Well done, Ted. You certainly got your story at all of our expense because it remains to be seen if GA will stay in tack. It is very sad for the entire cast. The only ones that I respect at this moment are the ones who have not commented. It was a private argument between castmates that caused a private misunderstanding or unintentional hurt between castmates to begin with. It should have been a private solution that took into consideration the feelings of each person involved including Isaiah's. He has apologized yet again to TR. If it turns out that TR overheard incorrectly, I wonder if he will issue an apology to Isaiah for calling him a liar and making the situation a thousand times worse for his castmate. In spite of all of this off screen drama, I enjoyed GA last night and again tonight. I enjoyed the beautiful acting of both TR and Isaiah including their scenes together. They are certainly outstanding actors to play the scenes so convincingly as two men who like, respect, and value each other. I hope they are given the opportunity to work through this so that they can have that same comraderie off screen, but if not it is the onscreen relationship that should matter most to the fans of the show.


It is over let it go! Stick and stones people! He didnt hurt him. We don't know if he really said it we were not there. Jason - Do you have your papers!! You sound ignorant.


What would have happened if someone on the set used the "n" to IW? They are all harmful names, one is not worse that the other....


I vote to fire Washington and belive that the network has a legal responsibility to protect T. R. Knight from a hostile workplace. Washington has created a hostile environment in the workplace and by doing so has violated policy. Washington is apparently a loose cannon and has no common sense or discretion. Whatever their differences are, any fool knows that the Golden Globe Awards is not the forum to settle it. I stand up for T.R. Knight. Washington should be canned!


iw should not be fired it is only a TV show!!!!!!!


All I have to say is, please DO NOT fire Isaiah Washington. I believe that he did not call T.R. Knight the "f" word. No way, no how.


Taye Diggs would be HOT as Burke.


If this had stayed between the two people it should have, obviously Knight and Washington, all would be well, wouldn't it? But, we must air and wear our emotions on our sleeves, apparently it makes good press. Instead of being adults and working it out, apologizing and moving on, we act like children. I believe that the character of Dr. Torez said it best, "If you would stop acting like a toddler and use your words....." Washington using terms like this was wrong. Yes. Knight crying to the world instead of talking to Washington....well, he should have used his words. I'm saddened. I really enjoy this show. Mo-Lama may be right. It may very well be the beginning of the end unless something is done soon BY the two people who should have taken care of it in the first place. Just a thought, would Knight's job be threatened if he had called Washington a N-----?


Leylak - how can you say this is a PR stunt my TR? IW was the one who brought the whole thing up again.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)