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Determined Isaiah Washington Says That ABC "Fired the Wrong Guy"

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Isaiah and T.R."They fired the wrong guy," Isaiah Washington said today.

The former Dr. Preston Burke on ABC's hit series Grey's Anatomy told the Houston Chronicle that T.R. Knight should have been fired from the show.

Isaiah Washington was not offered a contract and thus let go from the show on June 7, a month before filming for the new season was to begin.

The actor has been slammed with negative publicity since October. That's when he allegedly used an anti-gay slur in reference to T.R. Knight in an on-set argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey.

The Houston native's interviews with the media since have been few.

"I have to clear my name," Isaiah Washington told the Chronicle in a telephone interview from the set of his new movie, The Least of These.

"I'll start from the beginning. I'm telling everything. So here's the truth."

Washington said T.R. Knight, who plays Dr. George O'Malley, stirred up the notion that the slur was targeted at him and created a negative work environment.

The embattled actor also alleged that T.R. Knight likely wanted a salary increase and a more substantive role for his character.

Knight, who acknowledged that he was gay after the incident, told Ellen DeGeneres in January that Washington used the slur against him and that "everyone (on the set) heard it."

"That's a lie," Washington said. "I used the word during a disagreement with Patrick. I apologized for that. We shook hands and went back to work."

Washington also said he is considering a lawsuit. "My livelihood, my honor and dignity and my name have been so challenged."

He said his firing was a big disappointment.

"I was not fired for making homophobic slurs," he said. "I did everything I said I would do. I offered to go to counseling, to do a PSA. I wanted everyone to know I was remorseful."

Washington said he asked to be released from his contract last fall, then again in January when he repeated the slur at the Golden Globes.

His use of the word at the awards ceremony was taken out of context, he says, stating that he was responding to a question from a reporter over whether he had used the slur.

He said he regrets that his actions overshadowed Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes' win for best TV series drama.

Washington first learned ABC would not renew his contract in a tearful, personal call from Shonda Rhimes.

"That was a shock," he said. "I did everything they told me to do, including not saying anything. Then they didn't renew my contract. It's not fair."

ABC executives declined to comment. The 43-year-old Washington said this was the first negative incident in his 20 years in Hollywood.

He said he made three errors in judgment: "Believing that the cast of Grey's Anatomy were like family; believing I had the freedom to express myself with family and that we could resolve our issues; and trusting ABC was going to take care of me. I'm not angry. I'm disappointed."

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

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IW has a complete right to exonerate his name if possible. Like he said earlier he trusted ABC to take care of him. I agree with Didi, Burkebacker and MJ, that TRK seemed to hv a hidden agenda and was acting 'victim' at cost of another man's life and job. I always thought TRK seemed to act really vacuous and shifty from day one. A guy who acts oversweet and innocent is the scariest manipulator usually, I saw that on the show b4 he announced he's gay. He used IW's bad luck to cash in for himself. Poor IW , I hope luck favours him again. The media has been simply rotten to him. He's been libelled a homophobe wrongly! and been kicked when he was down. Gays have been the IW-phobe and done the hating. Media destroys who it chooses to ruin. Never was his side explained, IW needs to be less trusting. He has had little support from those who should have given it. Media has no conscience.

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so what, telling the truth just tells how honest a person is . blank...and people need to stop romantising the issue, lets be honest we all have some time used the word "ohh that is so gay" or " she/he is so f****gay" true, for those that say oh i never, dont lie be honest with yourself! MOVE ON, cause lifes too short to babble about crap like this.

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Hi, there!..4d6d72aedefafb77725425676d6baa3c

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Can anyone who works in the "real World," honestly tell me that if you said, fa****, ni****, or anything demeaning about someone's race, sexual orientation, or religion in the workplace that you would not be fired? They are called discrimination laws. If I'm white and I hear a white co-worker use the n-word, even if we are in a room of only white people and I report to management that he said the n-word and I was offended, it is cosidered a hostile work environment and action would be taken. The first time I heard this story there was actually no mention of T.R. in it, it was just that Isiah used the f-word. People blame T.R. for not accepting an apology? How satisfied were people with Imus' apology? When someone degrades you, and says something that attacks your soul, and breaks down your feelings, how do you simply accept their apology and forgive them?

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I THINK THAT BITCH KATHERINE HEIGL SAID WAY TO MUCH AND I THINK TR GOING ON ELLEN AND ACTING LIKE A CANDY ASS WAS PATHETIC. I DON'T BLAME IW FOR DEFENDING HIMSELF. WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN THAT CHANGES LIKE GETTING RID OF STRONG MAJOR CHARACTERS MEAN THE DEMISE OF THE SHOW. GA HAS 1 YEAR LEFT AND THEN IT WILL BE HISTORY.

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If this happened in an environment less public, and not so easily blown out of proportion we wouldn't even be discussing it. People say things that they dont mean to be offensive all the time and apologise and the matter is forgotten.
Its ridiculous how such extreme action is taken just because he is in the public eye

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fags

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Well, I sure don't hate you Donna. I greatly appreciate having some company in Isaiah's corner. Thanks for your comment.

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Burke Backer, I totally agree with you. Here's my comment in response to the Boykin interview: I believe Isaiah. I think this whole thing was blown out of proportion and I'm glad he is speaking publicly about it. Gay issues are a hot topic these days so ABC has to save face in order to keep the their viewers from turning away from Grey's. That's pretty sad when they let go one of their best actors just to save face. I love TR, but I think he's a coward for making it a gay issue, if he can't handle the fire, don't lash it out on someone else. Ok so people, this is my opinion, don't hate me!

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I agree, I don't plan to watch the show either. IW should tell his side of the story. When TR and KH were able to speak freely, and he wasn't saying anything, I knew then that something wasn't right. The people that want him to keep quiet are the people that have been duped by TR, which would actually be funny had it not cost a man his livelihood.