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.


He did not say he didn't use the word, Milly. Go back and listen again. He said he did not call TR a faggot. TR didn't even say Isaiah called him a faggot. He said he overheard Isaiah use that word in an argument referring to him. Is there some reason that you do not want to see the difference? Is there something that you have against Isaiah other than using an ugly word in an argument? Is the difference between "calling" someone that word and "referring" to someone as that word significant? Whether or not he said to his face or behind his back does not change anything, IMO. The meaning is intact; it is the same. Anyway, I certainly did not come here to change anyone's opinion, only to express mine, which leads to confusion when reading both your questions, particularly: "Is there something that you have against Isaiah other than using an ugly word in an argument?" Honestly, that doesn't deserve an answer. Obviously I think that his comments and his behaviour thereafter are enough. If the cast and crew collectively choose to forgive him and keep him, then that's a different story. And I commend and praise Katherine Heigl for expressing her opinion about IW's rehashing the topic all over again as "not okay." She stood up for TR and it was a fabulous moment. This is a tense topic and people will naturally disagree, but it is possible to express our opinions without asking, IMO, questions of that nature to other commentators. It makes this environment all the more negative. I'd rather agree to disagree and leave it at that. :)




all of you should be ashamed of yourselves. are you even diehard grey fans to begin with? so IW says the f-word. . .big deal! i say rubbish now & again. . .at work, sometimes at home, when i'm in the car, etc. . .but that shouldn't result in a termination. . .that's jst ludicrous! "ppl who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones"


Gina, I'm sorry you feel you have to yell. Do you know Isaiah? He is a graduate from Howard University. I believe he is educated enough to write his own heart felt apology. I have no reason to doubt his sincerity and neither do you. "BUT ALSO FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH THE DAY TO DAY HATE THAT IS DISHED OUT LEFT AND RIGHT BY SOCIETY AS A WHOLE" Who is dishing out the hate now and who is it directed at? Isaiah's comments were never filled with hate towards TR. They were even directed at TR. Isaiah cannot be replaced as Burke. The character is too much ingrained by the nuances that this actor has brought to the part. It is time for the fans of GA to get a grip and a little better perspective on what happened.


"His comments to Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell and Billy Bush and his persistent insistence that he did not use the word completely evaporated any credibility he may have had." He did not say he didn't use the word, Milly. Go back and listen again. He said he did not call TR a faggot. TR didn't even say Isaiah called him a faggot. He said he overheard Isaiah use that word in an argument referring to him. Is there some reason that you do not want to see the difference? Is there something that you have against Isaiah other than using an ugly word in an argument?


No one should use language that belittles another human being, but it happens all of the time. The difference between Mel Gibson and "Kramer" Richards and Isaiah, kitty6464, is that both Gibson and Richards directed their slurs at people with intent to cause pain and embarrrassment. Isaiah should not have used this word, but TR was not on the set to his knowledge. He did not direct it towards TR. His intention was not to hurt or humiliate his castmate. TR claims to have overheard it. There is a world of difference when you put intention into the equation. The fact that he used this word could be symptomatic of some underlying feelings that being gay isn't okay. If that is the case he needs to address it in his own heart. I don't think that is the case because it would be very hard to have the long career that he has had in a place very pro gay rights and harbor negative feelings without them coming out before. I don't know though. But it is also not necessariiy symtomatic of being homophobic. People are making huge assumptions here about what this man is thinking and feeling. All we know for sure is that he didn't think before using this word in either occasion even if it was not intended to harm anyone. I certainly hope that ABC Touchstone is more rationale in their handling of the fallout of this than many of the people who post on the web. It is impossible to tell who are actual Grey's Anatomy fans and who are simply Gay and Lesbian Rights supporters. They are having a hay day with this regardless and if they have their way and an excellent actor and a key character is lost to the show, we will be the losers. If that happens I will no longer be a fan of the show because the hate mongers would have won and I do not want to be counted among the haters. So I hope they work it out and Isaiah stays and the whole thing is allowed to die down and disappear.


Oh come on people. He said one word one time not directed at TR and not intended to cause him hurt or embarrassement. He was then put in the position by Ted from Eonline of having to defend himself. By denying out loud the word that some of the less reputable media people were accusing him of calling TR it opened all of this up again. No one should lose their job over one slip of the tongue and another media set up. I would really like to see Isaiah and TR come to an agreement about what actually occurred on the set and deal with the misunderstanding. They need to make a joint statement of whether or not this fracus is over. If they are able to do that and the rest of the cast is satisfied that it was not Isaiah's intention ever to harm TR, the rabble rousers should back off and let us enjoy the entire cast of Grey's. Grey, it doesn't take a man to go on television and call your castmate a liar. It takes a child who needs to have the last word. TR would have been more of a man to just let the entire thing pass because by making a huge deal out of one word said in anger to someone else who was not gay at all, he has made this far worse that it had to be. Using an ugly word once in an argument does not make you a homophobe. A lifetime of tolerance and good relationships with the gay community should speak louder than a one time slip. It is interesting to me that Isaiah has had only very positive things to say about TR as an actor, castmate, and as a person both before and after the incident in October and after TR called him a liar on the Ellen show. He still never really addressed why he felt he had to go public with his gayness because of the fight between Patrick and Isaiah. Do you think there is any possibility that he is enjoying the spotlight at the expense of his castmate? Isaiah has never, ever suggested that he hates anyone, yet katherinefan you feel perfectly within your right to announce to the world that you hate Isaiah, a man you don't know and will never meet. What is the more destructive? Your kind of hate or Isaiah's one time use of an ugly word? You directed your hatred towards Isaiah. Isaiah did not direct his word towards TR. It just doesn't add up. If you are a Grey's fan it is really sad because I have always been proud to be in the company of Grey's fans and I am not proud to be in the company of people who hate so easily. Hatred is a destructive word. All of the hate being bandied about is far worse, in my opinion, than anything Isaiah may have said or done unintentionally to TR Knight. Faggot is only a word and only as powerful as we want to make it. TR has chosen to make it a powerful indictment of himself. I don't condone the use of the word faggot. However, the reaction to it has been ridiculously overblown. I also do not condone the use of the word hate towards someone who has not harmed you. You don't even know what actually happened, no one does except those whose job it is now to fix the mess. It would be great, Grey, if we could simply not talk about this anymore, but unfortunately for everyone who says something sensible and reasonable with regard to last Monday's embarrassing question and answer, someone else throws out hateful statements that just should not go unanswered.


HAHA...i loveee how katherine stood up for TR, i hate isaiah, he can never shut up about anything!he always try to say sorry because he can never keep anything in him....


I will no longer watch Grey's Anatomy until Washington is fired. As long as he's on the program, I know there's a subtext of homophobia among the cast and it's a distraction and offensive. Imagine if one of the cast members had referred to Washington as a "n****r?" All hell would've broken loose -- as well it should. This is just not something I want to know is happening behind the scenes of an otherwise fine program. Too bad Issah Washington had to ruin it.


mj, sweety, 45 and 52 don't add up to 100. It's more like 49-51. Anyway, it looks to me as though IW is on the down-low.
Oh and my 2 cents. Should IW be fired? No. Who turned out to be much more of a man? TRK!
I think we should all just shut up now.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

CRISTINA: "There's a club. The Dead Dads Club. And you can't be in it until you're in it. You can try to understand, you can sympathize. But until you feel that loss... My dad died when I was nine. George, I'm really sorry you had to join the club."
GEORGE: "I... I don't know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't."
CRISTINA: "Yeah, that never really changes."

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."