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Isaiah Washington Explains Behavior in Lengthy Interview With Larry King

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Trying to Clear His NameIsaiah Washington blamed co-star Patrick Dempsey's repeated tardiness to the Grey's Anatomy set for the infamous blow-up which resulted in Washington using a homophobic slur.

Interviewed last night on Larry King Live, Washington said he regretted that he did not confront Dempsey the first time he was late to the set, so he challenged him when the actor was late again.

But Dempsey wanted to delay the scene more to wait for Grey's star Ellen Pompeo, who plays Dempsey's love interest, before shooting began.

"I said I don't need Ellen, I can act," Washington told Larry King. "And that was the moment that sent it into a different zone."

According to Washington, Patrick Dempsey erupted.

"He became unhinged, sprayed spittle in my face," said Washington, in his first TV interview about the controversy. "I'm asking him why is he screaming at me... He just becomes irate."

That's when Washington said "a lot of things I'm not really proud of."

"I said several bad words," he recalled, quoting himself as telling Dempsey: "There's no way you're going to treat me like the B-word, the P-word or the F-word."

He said that the "F-word" was not meant as an anti-gay slur, but implied "somebody who is being weak."

Washington also strongly denied he ever directed the word at gay costar T.R. Knight, as frequently reported and insinuated by the press.

"I am not homophobic, in no way, shape or form," said Washington.

As for T.R. Knight claiming the slur was directed at him, Isaiah Washington said that is patently false.

"That's a lie. He misrepresented himself," Washington said, suggesting that Knight did that to advance his career and get more money.

"He has been very disappointed in playing the character he has been playing. He told me that," Isaiah added.

But Washington said he felt badly about repeating the slur backstage at the Golden Globe Awards, when he attempted to explain the context in which he used it in the first place.

"I wish I could take that back," Isaiah Washington said.

He became emotional at one point in the interview.

When King asked if any cast members had written him, Washington paused and appeared close to tears when recalling that Sandra Oh had.

Washington attended counseling and finished Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy after the incident, but was released from the hit ABC series a month ago as Preston Burke was written out of the show.

Larry King said on the air that the Grey's Anatomy producers, Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight all declined to comment.

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

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whatever it is
burke SHOULD come back.
the ratings will go up.
think the show needs him

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you know what - I loved Isaiah! he was absolutely great in the show. When something like this happens it just changes your life. you say smthng and suddenly your life just splits into two. I wonder if he will ever be able to be big again?

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bayfront : your comment is way true.
1. Sad day when people let irresponsible non-neutral mediapersons, with no business being so critical, one-sided and reporting falsehoods, make up their minds for them. They actually destroy lives, shame on them. Media was rotten to IW. They will pay for Bad Karma.
2. If TRK caused the loss of job and ruin of another actor he truly deserves to never work again, and will pay for it someday. I agree with whoever said he is a wrong person to represent or set any example for the gay community. He came across as vindictive, unforgiving, selfserving, backstabbing, petty and mean. He depicts gays wrongly. He incited enough drama to draw sympathy and allow gays to persecute IW ?? His approach with IW was at best unbalanced. Never did he show the good grace to accept the apology publicly, why ??? If you so 'denounce publicly' then jolly well have the decency to 'accept an apology publicly' as well. He gloated at the humiliation of a coworker. It's just not done, and yet he's seen as the 'victim'. What is this.. some alternative nation .. wow
3. Also, it is easy for PD and TRK not to comment since they lost nothing + were gagged by ABC. However, TRK seems to have special privilieges, when he sang on ED's show. They all got over it coz they lost nothing, elementary ! Why would IW ever get over it ? Would any of them that said he should get over it, get over the loss of a job, millon-dollar contracts on top rated shows ?
4. Disney now supports gays due to business reasons at Disneyworld. This may have been why they found it easier to fire the black guy
than anger the gays by firing the real troublemaker, TRK. Bottomline: ABC is ruthless, coz Disney is partial = bad luck for IW.
5. Words like conspiracy and gaymafia seem possible when> how come you see so many white actors got back their jobs after saying a lot worse ? Maybe someone paid off the media to destroy IW, else why did media systematically hound him ? The unending hatred and attacks by gays who have never been this riled up on next to a non-issue?, so was it more racist than about the word used offhand? There was also a whole lot of gays who were barely offended by the episode, so why the crazy witchhunt ? Who knows which of the above harmed IW most? He did do himself some harm but not enough to merit loss of his contract, esp. not when he trusted ABC. One hopes justice is served, sooner than later.Compensation to IW is a whole different ballgame.

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isaiah was mad,used words, didnt direct them to anyone,even if they matched a certain person,defended himself publicly by saying the word again, and the world turns upside down.whats this word? FAGGOT!! The human race is being deprived and cheapened. t.r knight is a faggot, i am saying it directly to him. one more he is a pathetic piece of filth.

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If anyone of you people had seen and rightfully comprehended the LK interview, then, your negative opinions and take on IW's version of the story would have changed. (for one) Isiah didn't start blaming anyone, he respectively explained to LK what happened, and then proceeded to explain the possible ways that the situation could of been avoided. (for two) He was sincere, and honest, calm and relax; and for what it's worth, I don't think Grey's Anatomy would ever be the same. People would just be watching the usual clichéd things happening in the hospital, and the unique and unusually bright mind of Dr.Burke would be missing. GA will become like all the other medical shows out there. When Isiah Washington becomes an Oscar winning actor, ABC will be sorry ---that's my take on the situation. Good Interview Isiah.

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If anyone of you people had seen and rightfully comprehended the LK interview, then, your negative opinions and take on IW's version of the story would have changed. (for one) Isiah didn't start blaming anyone, he respectively explained to LK what happened, and then proceeded to explain the possible ways that the situation could of been avoided. (for two) He was sincere, and honest, calm and relax; and for what it's worth, I don't think Grey's Anatomy would ever be the same. People would just be watching the usual clichéd things happening in the hospital, and the unique and unusually bright mind of Dr.Burke would be missing. GA will become like all the other medical shows out there. When Isiah Washington becomes an Oscar winning actor, ABC will be sorry ---that's my take on the situation. Good Interview Isiah.

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I have been an absent fan of Isaiah and have let others like MJ, Sabrina, and Iceman carry the load here so I wanted to add to their comments by saying some posters are losing sight of what is really at the heart of this. Isaiah lost his job, not because he used an inappropriate word in a behind the scenes dispute with Patrick Dempsey in reference to himself, but because TR Knight misrepresented what happened and the media jumped on this crusade of bad, bad homophobic Isaiah, poor victimized TR. This was false. As I have said repeatedly it made no sense. Isaiah has no history of problems with the gay community in twenty years in the entertainment business. Even the rumored dust up on the set of Soul Food was denied by Nicole Ari Parker, the actress supposedly involved who has said on her website that it never happened. I don't understand how the media can get away with this. I don't understand how TR Knight can get away with this. Isaiah apologized originally about the fight with Patrick Dempsey. He and Dempsey cleared the air immediately and went back to work. That wasn't this issue. It was the Knight outing and subsequent passing blame on Isaiah that grabbed media attention. The fact that not one person from ABC is disputing Isaiah's side of the story is even more proof that this is exactly what happened. In addition, his side of the story matches that said by Dempsey and Pickens and even Jeffrey Dean Morgan in several interviews. Even Heigl said the original dust up was nothing and everyone went back to work. She was angry about the F word uttered after the Golden Globes and that it might have offended Knight. In terms of the Golden Globes, backstage in the press room Ted Casablanca would not stop asking about the on set incident. He asked repeatedly until Isaiah felt he would make it stop by saying he hadn't used the word. That is what he then later regretted that he had said the word on television in front of millions even if it was not directed at Knight or anyone else. As he explained in the interview he was sorry that this took away from their win and the enjoyment of that recognition. He took responsibility for that and did the rehab, and the apology, and the PSA. Everything that Isaiah has done has been consistent from the beginning. If Knight is allowed to remain on the show with a pumped up story line because of this premeditated trashing of his cast mate that ultimately put him through hell and caused him to lose his job, he should be fired and never hired again in the entertainment business. Isaiah has a right to clear his name from lies and self serving inuendo on the part of Knight. As long as Knight remains on ABC I will not support that network. Isaiah should be rehired with a huge apology from all involved. It is amazing to me that anyone should think he should just accept the misrepresentations and go away. I think he has a lawsuit against Knight for liable and extreme emotional distress that was completely undeserved and I wish he would pursue it. Who should he blame for what has happened to him if not the person who is responsible? Get rid of Knight and the entire cast would be better off. Who will he go after next? It sounds like he originally targeted Patrick Dempsey. I guess it was easier to get the black man fired. I know no one wants to hear that, but the evidence supports it.

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To respond to MJ- have you seen the GG footage? I watched it the night after the Golden Globes because I was hoping to see Shonda give her acceptance speech. I was so happy for my show. The cast was together and unified and glowing. And then Isaiah grabbed the mike from Shonda when she was trying to do him a favor by NOT talking about the incident. And you just saw everyone's face fall. All of a sudden all of their hard work which a minute before was being celebrated was dashed to the ground. He's a very talented actor - he will be missed on the show. But obviously, he's hard to work with- everything HE'S said leads me to think this. (I've worked with actors for years so I know what it's like to work with someone who feels the need to point out another actor's lateness. It's a very specific kind of actor who does that and those actors are no fun.) I will miss Preston Burke too. But IW will get more work and the show will go on. (and perhaps be a more enjoyable working experience for the cast still on the show.)

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If ABC let IW because of the GG incident, then their more superficial then we ever thought. An award is more important than an human being. Now that's just sad and it says a lot about our country.

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i want him back...in season 4..there's no grey's anatomy without Isaiah Washington

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.

Meredith
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