Isaiah Washington Apologizes, Admits Conduct Unacceptable, Will Seek Help

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Under fire by both ABC and gay leaders, Isaiah Washington has apologized for what he called his "unacceptable in any context" comments about gay co-star T.R. Knight at Golden Globe Awards Monday night.

"I can neither defend nor explain my behavior," Washington said in a statement, according to People. "I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help."

Isaiah Washington Apologizes, Admits Conduct Unacceptable, Will Seek Help
Apologizing to "T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community," Isaiah Washington said he "marred what should have been a perfect night" for Grey's Anatomy and hurt both Knight and "everyone who has struggled for the respect so many of us take for granted.

"T.R.'s courage throughout this entire episode speaks to his tremendous character. I hold his talent, and T.R. as a person, in high esteem. I know a mere apology will not end this, and I intend to let my future actions prove my sincerity," Washington said.

Washington, who plays Dr. Preston Burke on the hit ABC show, denied in the pressroom at the Golden Globes on Monday that he ever used a gay slur in reference to Knight.

"No, I did not call T.R. a faggot," said Washington. "Never happened, never happened."

But during an appearance Wednesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Knight said that Washington did use the word during an on-set argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey in October.

"He referred to me as a faggot," he told DeGeneres. "Everyone heard it."

Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said Thursday night that Washington "has scheduled a meeting with us for early next week, and we look forward to exploring opportunities for moving forward and healing some of the wounds of the past four months."

Earlier GLAAD had demanded that Washington apologize for his actions. Some fans have also circulated a petition online to have the actor fired.

ABC has responded by saying that Washington's remarks at the Golden Globe Awards were unacceptable and are being addressed.

"We have a long standing policy to create and maintain respectful workplaces for all our employees," the network said in a statement.

"We dealt with the original situation in October, and thought the issue resolved. Therefore, we are greatly dismayed that Mr. Washington chose to use such inappropriate language at the Golden Globes, language that he himself deemed 'unfortunate' in his previous public apology. We take this situation very seriously. His actions are unacceptable and are being addressed."

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


I'm new to Grey's Anatomy but I've seen all the seasons through netflix. Preston Burke and Cristiana Yang are one of the best story lines on the show. I've read about the controversy that seem to be the reason that Isaiah wasn't offered a contract for season 4 and even though people should show sensitivity and compassion for others......TR Knight should be let go from the show...there is nothing compelling or interesting about him or his story lines. The producers let the wrong person go. Without Isaiah as Preston Burke, I'll not watch anymore of GA.


I agree, Amy, we should stand up for what we believe. I believe Isaiah made a mistake in the heat of an argument. I believe it was not intended to harm anyone. I believe TR chose to feel wounded and to let the word he overheard have too much power. I believe he went to the press for his own publicity. I believe Isaiah used bad judgment at the GGs when he denied calling TR the word and in so doing used the word. I believe TR was a whiney cry baby in going to Ellen to call his castmate a liar. I believe both parties have been wounded. I believe both parties need to work it out. I believe both actors should remain on the show. I will express my beliefs in whatever way I choose and fully respect the right for others to express theirs. That does not mean that I will not respond to their beliefs and try to pursuade them to see the other side. This is not disrespect, this is not forcing my views on someone else. It is simply presenting another side for consideration. I certainly hope you are not equating an incident of name calling with rape. Isaiah did not break the law. He did not cause physical harm to anyone. TR did not need the protection of the police or KH for that matter. This was a misunderstanding between two adult men with not acts of violence involved. They should have handled it privately themselves.


Just because we hear nasty things come out of people's mouths everyday does't mean that we shouldn't have enough integrity to stand up and say that we do not appreciate what was said. I commend people for standing up for what they believe in. However, I don't think that it is okay to ever force your beliefs on other people when a person does that they have gone too far. As for KH standing up for TR maybe she is just standing up for what she believes in. Juanita- this might be a bit of a stretch but if you witnessed a person being raped or violated in some other way would you do nothing, say nothing, would you even call the police being that the person should fight their own battles? eventhough the violation that was done to them conflicts with everything you believe in.


I. W. forgot that he is in Hollyweird. In Hollyweird Jews, gays and mafia control what's on TV. People have disagreement at work all the time. Some people even have affairs. We all know someone at work we can't stand. I hear people use profanity in the work place and no one is fire for that. I can only assume I. W. was telling Dempsey that he is not a sissy (f-word). I. W. had to put Dempsey's ass in check. T. R. said I. W. referred to him as a faggot. I. W. didn't directly call him a fag. If T. R. has a problem with that, he should have dealt with I. W. right then and there. Yes, I. W. could have used a different word but I. W. is a grown ass man. I. W. has apologized. If ABC was going to fire him, they should have done it 2 or 3 months ago. We all have said and done things we are not proud of. So stop being hypocrisy. Sorry people you can just simply replace one black actor for another. He is a major part of the show. I think he is very attractive and an excellent actor. I. W. has a right to make a living. I don't think he should be fire. If they do, the show will not be the same. We don't know what really happen only the people who were there knows. Someone on the set leak the story that's how T. R. was outted Maybe it was Katherine Heigel. What is ABC going to do about Katherine. She was talking about kicking I. W. ass. Now she is demonstrating violence in the workplace. Will she be fire? No. I also feel T. R. needs to man up and fight his own battles. Don't go on Ellen and Rosie's show and whined that someone said faggot. Be a man and fight your own battles. No matter where you go. You are gonna hear a slur or cussing of some sort. Everyone has prejudices and stereotypes. I don't want my son to hear profanity but we walk out our door. People use it. What they are doing to I. W. is a modern day lynching. I don't watch the show and I don't think it's right he is receiving all this blacklash. We need to learn how to be more tolerance. Show the same compassion you had for Michael Richards AKA Kramer to I. W. Let differences create respects not conflict. Do the right thing people. Get over it and let it go.


ok.... It seems that hollywood is some how immune to the rules and actions of the real world. Could you imagine going to work and refering to a coworker as a f!@ or the n word. I wouldnt be able to go into "homophobia rehab" or whatever crazy publicity crap they are trying to sell the public. I would be looking for another job end of story. In this day in age we can not tolerate actions like this. Whats next... Someone robs a bank and pleads not guilty by reason of alcoholism and jumps into rehab? The rules of the real world should apply to hollywood. period.


To bad everyone in America hates the truth. These people act together. Key word act. They don't have to like each other. If T.R. was so upset about being called a faggot, then maybe he should stop being one. I'm not saying what took place at the Golden Globes was at the right place or time. But Isiah Washington has the right to his feelings. It caused no physical harm, and in my opinion brought more attention to a show that has a considerable amount already. Going on a certain someones television show to cry about being called a faggot is pretty pathetic. Thats like going to a beauty pageant and becoming upset because someone told you that you are pretty.


even if he did people what is the problem i dot have anything against gays but they are considered faggot as well so what is the problem. people wakew up and use ur time more wisely our soilders are ding for no reason why dont we work on getting bush out of office so that we can save whatever troops we have left rather to waste time because washington called knight a faggot. it is true anyway so what is the fuss?


I have kept my mouth shut on this matter long enough to process it. I understand the hurt and impact that one word can cause a person, but we have to remember that it is just that....A WORD! I respect both T.R. and Isaiah. I do agree that Isaiah was wrong for using the F word. It is a derogatory word and should never be used. It is right up there for the N word! However, I do think that it was wrong for T.R. to go on Ellen and say that Isaiah using the word "forced" him to come out and speak openly about his sexual orientation. T.R. CHOSE to come out! No one person or word MADE him come out. Now I do not know if he did it to boast his popularity or what, but he should have never said that comment on Ellen. I am also very disappointed in Katherine for speaking about Isaiah's remarks at the Golden Globes. No other cast member, writer, or producer spoke about the incident to reporters after it happened, but she just had to say something to add fuel to the fire. I hate to say this, but T.R. is a grown man and needs to stand up for himself. He does not need Katherine or anyone else to argue or speak in his behave. I truly believe that ABC and Shonda Rhimes know that if Isaiah is fired that the ratings will go down. Not just because of the harsh consequence, but statistics have shown that anytime cast members are traded out or moved around that the ratings go down. Everyone should be an adult about the situation. Isaiah did apologize and that is a start. I believe that if everyone was punsihed that severely for a slip of the tongue or for just speaking for thinking...we would be really bad off. We all have said or done things that have not been appropriate at times, but come on people....enough is enough. Remember that you never know what people are truly saying behind the privacy of their own homes and then come and smile in your face. Take this incident as a learning experience. Thanks and God Bless!


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I have been absolutely impressed with this show and it's following. I felt that all the characters and those of you who play them posses the utmost in sensitivity and appreciation for one another, until that statement at the Golden Globes. Isiah, as an African American who may or may not have experienced someones use of a word for the strick purpose to hurt you and belittle, I thought you might have the sensitivity to understand the road that T.R. must take as a member of a community that is not looked upon in this world as equal. As a man, you should have known better and as an African American, you should have been sensitive. As an African American and gay male, I am disappointed in your choice of words to deny the accusation of your use of the word in the first place. There are enough people in the world that will use that word with such evil and grotesque infliction of pain, please don't join them and destroy the beautiful representation that Grey's Anatomy gives the fans every Thursday night. I was so impressed with you on Oprah and all that you had to say. Please, please, please remind yourself of those words and live up to them. Be the man you can be and accept those different then you regardless of your personal beliefs. Strive to be the solution and not a part of the problem.


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.