Isaiah Washington Explains Behavior in Lengthy Interview With Larry King

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Trying to Clear His Name
Isaiah 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.


I saw the interview love IW wish he was going to be back on the show. I always love Sandra Oh and proves how much class she has. So much drama on this show I believe there will continue to be drama and am not sure if I have the stomach to watch the show I own season 1 and 2 and don't think I'm going to buy season 3. Even Bruce Willis stepped in and said it seemed to be a little excessive firing him. He sounds like he is busy and is certainly working so I believe he will rebound.


Seriously? What a bunch of hoopla this interview was. Issiah Washington said things he shouldn't have said, and he refused to take responsibility. I think that he is acting like a small child that did something bad, and trying to blame it on someone else. He should own up to what he said, and make ammends if he has to. He looked arrogant and unapologetic on television. So I say, GOOD RIDDANCE ISSIAH I'll enjoy the show without you on it. It's not like he made the show, he was only a small particle of it, and can't wait for season 4.


grey's anatomy won't be the same without WI. He was the best!!!


Of course the media that has crucified IW before hearing both side won't admit their wrong, but my suggestion to them is that they should learn the craft of journalism, but then again what they do can't really be call journalism. I can't believe that the media, especially having some much influence on the public, can be so irresponsble. They weren't even reporting the news, they were making judgement, and didn't even know what really happened. Ted Casablanca (for the liar he is) , Michael Ausiello and others, I'd just like to say that you should be fired since you have no problem calling for someone else's job. People like them, and I should make myself clear unwise I'll be labled a homophobic, judgmental people like them just disgust me. I wish I could post this on their sites, but it would only get deleted.


I do not believe Isaiah Washington's story one bit. It just seemed like he was being told what to say. Isaiah should have never said anything to anybody or this would have never begun. It sounds like he a little conceited and thinks he is the best. I don't think T.R. Knight would go along with all of this if it wasn't true. If I were Patrick Dempsey and IW told me He can act without someone, I would react the same way. I will deffinatley watch the show, but will not miss IW after this interview.


Some of you aren't reading what Isaiah said or are apparently NOT keeping up with the news.
Comment #1: Isaiah not taking responsibility??? EXCUSE ME??? ISAIAH went to counseling. ISAIAH recorded a PSA. ISAIAH did all that, and they fired him. OF COURSE he's speaking out now because ABC screwed HIM!!! He's telling the truth because with the firing, they made him look like an idiot. So I'm on Isaiah's side -- how many people have played the scapegoat for something they didn't do, simply to keep the bosses happy, still to get kicked in the gut??? Sorry, but Isaiah needs to TELL IT. The folks at ABC are cowards, and their ringleader is T.R. Knight, followed by Patrick Demsey. Believe it or not, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, or gender -- many of us DO support Isaiah because this is an injustice.
Comment #2: Non-existent career??? I think some of you need to do a filmography search on Isaiah Washington. He's the MOST season actor on the show. Firing him was about more than the little fake scandal that T.R. is using to get support and pump his career. It was about money for ABC. They can't afford him -- and using the "f-word" scandal (which we now know was untrue and completely blown out of proportion) to fire him was cowardly. And the funny thing is -- with or without Preston Burke on the show, T.R.'s character is still boring and nearly non-existent.


Why are people who haven't even seen the interview commenting.


Give me a freaking break. There are two reasons TR is not commenting: he's under a gag order, which he should have been placed under the same time that IW was placed on it, and he's accomplished what he's set out to do. My question is why wasn't he and KH under a gag order, too. Some of you need to go back and watch TR interview with Ellen interview.


If this isn't true, why won't ABC comment on it, or let the others comment on it. Because it's all so true, and it all make sense. Another reason people don't want to believe it's true is because TR has made them look like a fool, and nobody wants to believe that their McDreamy is not so Dreamy. But people nobody is perfect.


I knew whatever he said wouldn't make a difference, but really you people are unbelievably pathetic. I feel he mainly did the interview for his supporters, and to tell what really happpened, whether you believed him or not, and he knew the haters would stay haters. He wasn't blaming anyone, he was telling just what happened, and he did a damn good job. I knew all along that their was more to the story. And apparently some of you didn't even listen to the interview. The reason he didn't say anything is because ABC wouldn't allow him to, and them they deceived him into thinking that he could keep his job if he did what was required to keep his job. He asked to be let go twice, but ABC wouldn't do that, they knew he would tell exactly what happened. But like I said, most of you came to your conclusion about him based on tabloids, rumor and gossip, and even if you know IW is right, you won't admit it. JUST PATHETIC!


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.