Probably one of the biggest questions at the end of this TV season was whether Isaiah Washington, who made big news by calling Grey’s Anatomy co-star T.R. Knight a “faggot” at least twice– once in a fistfight with co-star Patrick Dempsey and once in front of the press after the show won a Golden Globe award, would be returning to the show for the 2007 fall season.
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that it has been confirmed by ABC, if not the show itself that Washington will NOT return to Grey’s Anatomy in the fall. This report is coming just a day after the news broke that T.R. Knight got a hefty pay raise for his role as George O’Malley on the show.
My opinion? I’m sad to see the character leave the show, but it had to happen. ABC absolutely made the right decision, and it was a mighty tough one to make at that. Washington was a major player on the show, and did a great job as the character of Preston Burke. But strong performances do not outweigh unwelcome press, and Washington has given the show plenty of that in the past year. Obviously, the show wanted nothing more to do with that.
And apparently, he has an even further history of causing problems on sets. The EW report states that Washington has “a pattern of suspicious behavior” that goes as far back as 1997, when he was on a TV show called High Incident. The report does not state what transpired, but safe to say it was enough to help support ABC’s decision to let Washington go.
Even though Washington recorded a public service announcement for GLAAD as part of his penance for the situation, the words he said still stung hard enough to disable his career.
Yes, Isaiah, words do hurt, and words do damage. But if you are saying those words to begin with, it means there is something deeper behind them. One can only hope that you will take what has happened to your career and turn it into something positive.
But then, we can only hope. It’s in your hands now. Good luck with that.