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.


Sorry there is no link and for France I don't know the only thing I can do is take a picture of the article and mail it to the webmaster of this site. As long as it does not have a negative effect on the actors!!! One never knows what type of vengeance ABC could have in mind!!!


I am so done with this subject already....geez, talk about beating a dead horse!! He's upset, I get it. I'd be too. I really did like his character too and yes I'm upset to see him go, but what's that old saying, one door closes and another one opens... I'm just thinking burning bridges might not be the best idea in the world....Plus, look at everything he is saying about the entire cast, after so many have stood by him. Not good my friends....not good at all.


Since when did "faggot" become a cuss word? One day they can say it on television, the next it's ****ed out... that's totally... well I shouldn't say. I might get fired.


Okay guys, the only way to really get mad about the firing of IW is to stop watching the show!!! I know drastic...but drastic measures are needed !!! I am tired of the whole Knight/Heigl storyline any way. So so long Grey's.


Hi Belgian Grey,
Where can one get a copy of the magazine or article from where you pulled the comments by PD, SO and ED. Is it available in France??
Or could you scan a copy of the article for us to read.


Belgian Grey could you please give us a link or upload the page of the magazine?


Here is what they said in the TELEPRO magazine:
PD I regret that the press made such a fuss about the initial problem. I had the opportunity to talk it out with IW who made amends. I am dismayed by his departure.
SO: Burke will always be present in Crisitina's life. I hope that the producers will change their minds about firing IW.
ED This is a real loss for the serie.


Belgian Grey - I haven't seen anything in the press here - can you send links or tell us what you've read? THANKS!


I'm standing behind IW all the way. I hope he gets another chance on a different TV show.


BG - you're right, I had bad information. Sorry to all, like me, that expected it on Friday!


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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)

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.