Isaiah Washington Issues Formal Apology

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Washington: Deeply Sorry
Actor Isaiah Washington has issued an apology in a statement to People for his behavior during the now-infamous on-set argument with a Grey's Anatomy co-star.

"I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set," he said. "Both are beneath my own personal standards. I have nothing but respect for my co-workers, and have apologized personally to everyone involved."

After Washington, 43, and Patrick Dempsey, 40, clashed on October 9, reports began surfacing that Washington had used a homophobic slur during the fracas.

Then on October 19, their co-star, T.R. Knight, disclosed that he is gay.

"I'd like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there," he said. "I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me."

Fallout from the turmoil has sparked talk of everything from hasty script rewrites of an impending onscreen fight scene (not true, says show creator Shonda Rhimes) to rumors that Washington would be fired and replaced by former ER star Eriq La Salle.

"I found (those rumors) not only ridiculous but offensive that we would consider replacing a member of our family. Also, the (idea) that one black man was interchangeable with another is disturbing to me," Rhimes said.

Rhimes also dismissed speculation that the mood on the set has been tense since the argument.

"The mood's what the mood's always been," she said. "We have a group of people who are more of a family than anything else. We have our fun days, and we have our days when people are tired and the work is hard."

On Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Grey's costar Katherine Heigl played down the incident, calling it a "scuffle" that blew over in a matter of a few minutes.

Washington was scheduled to tape an interview with DeGeneres on Tuesday to air Wednesday, but canceled -- citing a scheduling conflict -- after Heigl jokingly warned DeGeneres to "step back" during Washington's appearance.

So what actually happened between Washington and Dempsey? A set source says that when Knight, 33, was late to film a scene, a debate ensued between Dempsey and Washington, with Dempsey insisting on waiting for Knight before starting the scene. The argument intensified, and the source says that the alleged slur was used -- but Knight was not present.

"Isaiah was running his mouth off," the source told People. "Isaiah verbally attacked Patrick. He tore into him. Patrick's voice escalated and he told Isaiah to f*%k off, (but) that was as heated as Patrick got."

As of today, Rhimes tells the magazine, Dempsey and Washington "are fine" -- as are Washington and Knight.

"They've had conversations," says Rhimes. "They did a really great scene together the other day." The whole affair, she says, "was four and a half seconds of one day in three years. I feel like we've already moved on."

We're glad that Washington and Rhimes have come forward to address the issue and assure us that everything has been resolved. Hopefully, the matter can now be put to bed and we can focus on the show!

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


And no, there's no double standard. Whether Isaiah Washington says "fag" or someone else says "nigger" what. I wouldn't "demand" (you're arrogant if you try to demand someone be fired anyway, as if your opinion matters) that T.R. be fired if he said "nigger". People bash each other all the time, its not our place to judge them. If you judge someone for saying a WORD (come on people, it's just a WORD for goodness sake) then you should look in the mirror because you're doing the same thing you're angry at them for.


Mac, you are stupid. You can stop watching the show, and it will be your loss. We all say things that other people don't like. Big deal. Trying to control what someone says, even if it's hateful, is lame. People have a right to use whatever words they want. Isaiah Washington rocks! Patrick Dempsey rocks! T.R. Knight rocks! They all rock! Get over it.


Regarding the Isaiah Washington / T.R. Knight Media Frenzy that was SHOVED down the throats of the viewing public, WHILE TRUE UNDERLYING ISSUES GO UNADDRESSED: Isaiah Washington whose family history in this country is one of SLAVERY and Segregation and T.R. Knight a white, gay male are INDIVIDUALS who are members of groups who still face discrimination in this country. It would be remiss of me not to point out that one's sexual orientation can be concealed while the color of one's skin / ethnic features are in plain site for all to see and America is a country where at one time Lynching Blacks was the sport of the day. It is an insult to my spiritual evolution as a fellow human being on this planet of EARTH that the MEDIA inundates me and others with Bull$hit words to try to get US to ponder a question of whether or not Isaiah Washington is homophobic â€" In my heart of hearts (deep in my soul), I KNOW that Isaiah Washington is NOT homophobic. What Isaiah (the INDIVIDUAL) MAY BE is a challenging personality to work with and/or get along with. He may have RAGE issues (go figure, a descendant of SLAVES with rage issues). There are those who feel that YOU people (Blacks) should JUST GET OVER SLAVERY, it happened a long time ago, move on already. First, and foremost, each of US is an "INDIVIDUAL" who happens to be from Slave Ancestry in America. Most of US are still dealing with issues from Slavery and more recently "Segregation" and DON'T realize it. One cannot begin to address these issues if one does not know that there are issues and where they originate. The Comedian, Chris Rock said it best when he said, America, for Blacks, is like the uncle who pays your way through college, but RAPED you when you were younger. MOST would not tell someone who was RAPED to "Just Get Over It." A guest from the Oprah Show UPDATED the old adage about "TIME" perfectly when she said, "Time alone does not heal anything, it is what is done in that time that makes the difference" â€" which are words that resonate in my soul. It is further insulting, ridiculous, A TOTAL WASTE OF PRECIOUS TIME to have Isaiah Washington in therapy FOR what he said, may or may not have said about T.R. Knight's sexual orientation and then to have him make what "I Felt" was a Ridiculous public service announcement (BECAUSE OF ITS TIMING â€" on the heels of the "Gay slur MEDIA FRENZY") at the end of one of Grey's episodes. Yes, I believe that Isaiah would greatly benefit from therapy (as would ALL descendants of SLAVES in America) PROVIDED the "REAL" issues are being addressed instead of going to therapy "IN HOPES" of saving one's job. Isaiah most likely should have some form of therapy to deal with RAGE issues and/or to develop better life / work coping skills. In the office next door to Isaiah and his therapist should be T.R. Knight with his therapist dealing with T.R.'s issues surrounding his sexual orientation because T.R.'s "reaction" to Isaiah's behavior is indicative of "ISSUES T.R. Needs to Address." I read somewhere someone's wording to the effect that Isaiah as a black man "should know better" than to use a sexual slur, most likely having had racial slurs directed at him. What we as individuals should know / do know (Intellect) vs. How We Behave (Emotion) most often are light years apart, hence my use of the words "spiritual evolution as fellow human beings." On a number of occasions I had to "remind" my sister (1 yr. younger than me) that I understand her pain (I can feel her pain); however, she can't take it out on US (her siblings, her husband, her daughter) because each of us are dealing with our own "personal" life challenges and that WE (her siblings) came from the same "screwed-up" Parents she did. America STOP THE INSANITY of forcing us to pretend we love/like each other and START PROMOTING getting along with one another in spite of our likes and/or dislikes â€" Respecting one another's Right to Co-exist and Benefit EQUALLY from the opportunities that America offers. The Non-Renewal of Contract / Firing of Isaiah Washington is sooooooo much bigger than the individual. The handling of the situation is a MAJOR SETBACK to race relations in this country. This situation reeks of "OLD, Backwards Thinking" America trying to keep a black man down â€" keeping him in his place, after all can't allow him to think he's equal to a "White" man in America. NO, Isaiah Washington SHOULD NOT have been fired. Nor should T.R. Knight for the "role" he played in this debacle (he is EQUALLY responsible along with Isaiah for this situation). They should both have been reprimanded and required to attend "REAL" (genuine) therapy sessions. THE ONLY FIRING needed is to "Line the MEDIA up against a wall" and have a FIRING SQUAD unload a Million Rounds of Ammunition into their Low-Life human forms. At the first sign of friction amongst the diverse cast members it would have BENEFITTED America as a whole to bring in a Therapist / Relationship Expert to address "core" issues before the "Parasitic" MEDIA could get wind of "trouble" on the set. With the absence of Isaiah, I have NO interest in Grey's Anatomy and I will no longer watch the show. SHAME ON Any and ALL individuals who played a part in the firing of Isaiah Washington â€" UNDO THIS ! ! ! I hope my "words are received" in the spirit in which they are intended â€" Honest, Respectful, America RACE discussion.


I watched Isaiah on Larry King tonight, and was wishing I could watch all 3 together. I really don't understand all this hoo haa, and think IW is a brilliant actor, and fear he is so hurt and angry inside that he might litigate and thus it would look bad for him. I don't want him to go any further with this. Enough has been said and done. I won't be nearly as interested in GA without him, but as long as the dice have been cast, I don't want him or his attorneys as he said to keep it going. That would be so wrong. Bury the hatchet and move on. Prove you're bigger than those who have tried to shove you down Mr. Washington!! pat


you can't speak aginst something that is wrong in the eyes of GOD anymore you become the bad guy.


Let's hypothetically say Isaiah is a raving homphobic ass. Let's hypothetically say that he screamed faggotts!!!! at the top of his lungs to a room full of homosexuals. SO WHAT!! I personally feel that it is tragic to carry hostility against any person, especially on the blind basis of race or sexual orientation, but lets be honest. Most of people in America struggle with prejudices of some sort, though not admittedly. And we live in a country where everyone has a right to their own voice, whether that be a bigoted one or not. When did someone's job get put on the line for holding an opinion, whether politically correct or not. I believe Isaiah was wrong in his outburst, it is unprofessional to have any personal/emotional outburst on the job, and if outbursts persisted, for whatever nature, then and only then should the thoughts of termination be excersized. Isaiah may carry some ideas that don't please the public, but he is a good actor, period. He should be able to hold any abhorrent belief he chooses without the fear that he may lose his job!! This is America!! I am not a proponent of any person acting in any matter derogatory toward a person of a different sexual orientation, but I am also a proponent of freedom of ideas and speech and do not feel that it is punishable to hold a 1950s Bible Belt concept of the world. I hope abc realizes the position they are in will affect more than just Greys and I hope they keep Isaiah, whether he apologizes, seeks treatment etc. . . . . OR NOT!!! And to those who are freakin out about Isaiah's outburst and subsequent comments and want him fired, PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH AND SHOW SOME TOLERANCE!!


Calling someone a faggot is not the same as calling someone a Nigger or a Spic or a Chink or any other racial slur! It is not the same, nor does it carry the same kind of animous! Nor is it the same Stigma attached to it. If Mr. Knight was not in the room... He should not even know what happened. If it was between Washington and Dempsey... two grown ass men, then it should have been between them and that is all. Patrick acts like a punk anyway, and he probably went behind IW's back acting like a silly little bitch. Grey's can and should move on and survive... there is not hypocrisy in this. Black people are always having some kind or another Backlash coming at them, from sorry racist bullshiters, who are more times than not, just jealous... and evil; and don't want to see anyone Black do well or survive. Mr. Washington is a very good actor; he said something stupid, but he apologized and moved on... as it seemed most of the cast did. Blacks have been getting it and taking it forever; the problem here is the White Supremist's attitude that because Blacks - more than most others - call them out on their racist shit; as if we don't know when someone is being a pig racist in the first place. Sadly, this attitude of White Supremacy is held by Blacks and others as well, that is why you have a bunch of sick acting Black Gay Males (especially) calling for the demise of this man - in support of a mindset that castigates them every single day... that is pathetic. As that groveling bitch Rupaul says to his Black Gay Brethren - "You Betta Work! [For Massa, Bitches]!


Would most of you have such a complacent, "It is between the cast members attitude" if T.R. Knight had used a racial slur against Isaiah Washingtonton, calling him the "N" word. No, I think you all would be demanding T.R. be fired and sued for liable and defamation of character, which makes you hippocrites. I am appalled not only at the bigotry and insensitivity of not only the talent-less, stupid bigot Washington, but also of Shondra Rhimes, ABC executives, and all the people trivializing the significance of this slur. Until Washington is fired, I am boycotting all ABC broadcasts and am encouraging everyone I know to do the same


Love the show, hate the current negative media attention. It's really a shame that a show with so much depth and great story lines could evoke all this destructive media focus. Right now I cant think of another show where there is not one but NINE characters of equal interest and appeal. I mean television has not had this brilliance in many years. Each of the actors bring something unique and very necessary to the characters they portray and there is no way anyone could just be replaced simply because they share a physical characterstic or profile. I mean that is a very sub-consciously racial remark. How ironic!! As much as I hate to even attempt to analyze a comment that I personally did not witness nor receive confirmation from any witness- I have to... But based upon reports of what was allegedly said, those comments were not aimed toward or used to offend someone's sexual orientation. Its seems more that a term was used in an argument that coinidentally could be used to identify someone else's sexual identity. An opology was delivered to the public not to admit guilt but to soothe the discomfort of those who may have misunderstood the context of the use of words. Surely if directed toward someone it would have been insensitive and inappropriate, but it does not seem to have been used in that way. We really need to develop our social tolerance for diversity and not be offended by words and things that acknowlege those distinctions. Gay is what it is, black is what it is and so forth, with respect, why cant we use those words without fear of being labeled a bigot or prejudiced person??


Ok everyone will forgive Mel Gibson for his anti-semitic remarks and the guy from Sienfeld for his rasist remarks. They both apologized, and now no one really remembers it. But Heaven forbid someone use a homophobic remark. He apologized. But we cant leave him alone. I guarentee that there are (combined) more Jewish and African Americans in the US, but there is no longer a huge backlash..even a month later. Obviously Washington is going through enough right now...And I for one will continue watching the show. For all of those who say they wont, then give up all your Seinfeld DVDs and any Mel Gibson movie. Yeah, I dont see that happening either.


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)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.