Grey's Anatomy Wins Top Producers Guild Honor, But Feud Still Lingers
"It's not an easy week to be a producer."
That understatement came on stage from Grey's Anatomy creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, accepting the award for best TV drama at Saturday's Producers Guild of America Awards.
According to USA Today, Rhimes skipped the red carpet and declined to pose with her award in the photo room, and when she was approached at her table for comment on Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington's future, she said only, "I'm just here supporting my fellow producers on the show."
Washington has been under fire for using a homophobic slur to refer to co-star T.R. Knight during an on-set dust-up in October and again after the Golden Globe Awards last week, with some calling for him to be fired. Thursday, he was scolded in a statement from ABC, which said called his actions "unacceptable." He later issued an apology.
Grey Anatomy leading man Patrick Dempsey, who was involved in the October confrontation, presented the TV comedy award to NBC's The Office, but kept a low profile, confining himself to the backstage green room. But Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip's Sarah Paulson had no problem speaking out:
"If someone said that about me and outed me that way, it would be really hard. I appreciate that (Grey's Anatomy co-star) Katherine Heigl stood up for T.R., because it's our job to protect each other."
Even singer John Mayer, on his blog, says Washington's character should have to come out as gay on Grey's Anatomy: "What better way for an actor to get to the roots of his discrimination than by portraying the very subject of his own ire for the remainder of his contract?"
There were plenty of other hot topics at the Producers Guild event.
Bobby producer Edward Bass voiced support for Lindsay Lohan, who stars in his film and checked herself into rehab last week. "I knew well before that she was thinking about it," Bass said. "I just didn't know how to help. It's problems and torment that make a great actor. In this industry we're looking for tormented people â" Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Robert Downey Jr. Great actresses live in rehab. It's normal."
Al Gore received the Stanley Kramer Award for An Inconvenient Truth and later was asked about Hillary Rodham Clinton's run for president. He said only: "I wish all the candidates well. It's a long road until the election. I know it will be a very interesting challenge for her, Barack Obama, John Edwards, all the others who are in the race."
Gore's award was presented by Harrison Ford, who came with live-in love Calista Flockhart. Ford said Sean Connery has been offered to reprise his role as Indiana Jones' father in the adventure saga's fourth installment but has not yet accepted.
Salma Hayek, there to present the award to Grey's Anatomy, is a producer on ABC's Ugly Betty and shared some developments. Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz talked with her at the Golden Globe Awards about guest starring.
"We've got to work it out, but they really want to support the show," said Hayek, who hasn't decided whether she'll uglify her pals.