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.


Ok, Sandra Oh has been working with IW the most in the show. Apparently, apparently, she does NOT have any problem with him. So what is the complain. Faggot is not a nice word. It is derogatory, but so what? I am Chinese, and if someone calls me Chink, I wouldn't be offended..because while Chink is used as a derogatory term, I don't take defense to heart..because that is not who I am... and Honestly, this DOES look like a publicity No Publicity is BAD PUBLICITY.. i am just so tired of this.. i want to see the characters arch over...


First its, he needs to apologize, then once he apolgizes, then it not enough, or he's not sincere. Well, it may not be enough for you, but why you let the people involved decide that.


TR said he didn't know why he said what he said, and my question is why didn't he ask. This has gone to far, and they need to work it out amongst themselve (IW, TR and the GA cast), and they can if people would just step back and let them.


BB - You go girl......couldn't have said it all any better myself!


Okay, here a thought Why don't you let the cast work this out themselves. IW didn't apology because of ABC. He had to stand back and realize just what had been done, and find a way to make amends. The cast are hurting, including IW, and their trying to find a way to work through this. Why don't we just let them. IW leaving GA is not the solution, it wouldn't be the same. IW and SO have lots of fans, and we would like to see it continue. People just need to let them work this out. Yes, he made a mistake again, but he still should be given another chance. I think he should be given the three strikes rule.


he called him faggot in two different events and got away with it? nobody in their positions would have gotten away with calling anyone a nigger. it's as simple as that.


Okay, this is my last response to the nonsense on this comment section because you all know by this point in time that I am a strong supporter of Isaiah Washington. Nikki, you have no idea what would have happened if anyone had called Isaiah the N word. You have no idea if anyone has called Isaiah the N word on the set or anywhere else for that matter. That is all nonsense and speculation. Last Monday Isaiah was trying to set the record straight. He did it in a clumsy and embarrassing way. It was wrong. But, it was not calling anyone a name, it was saying that he did not call anyone a name to begin with. I feel very sorry for Isaiah. I don't think anyone at GA or ABC/touchstone took any time at all to help Isaiah deal with the backlash from the inital episode. I don't think they helped him understand how to respond to the media or offered him any guidance. I don't think they acknowledged the pain he was in having so many fans turn against him for one word spoken in anger without intent to hurt TR. These are all people not used to the kind of attention that being on GA has given them. He was left out there on his own when someone on the set sold him out to the tabloids, as Patrick said in his interview. This is a man who needed some help and didn't get it. He was trying to defend himself against the continuous guestions by the press and bad jokes by the preshow interviewers like Ryan Seacrest. Should he have said anything to the reporter after the GGs, no. Clearly he should not. But someone other than Isaiah needed to speak up for him. If this is all about a misunderstanding between castmates, it needs to be handled by the people involved. The media attention has made it worse and threatens to ruin the show, because frankly, as angry as some of you are at Isaiah is as angry as I am at George and Katherine Heigl. I don't think it is very brave to go on national television with a gay hostess and talk about being gay when you have the support of everyone. It is lovely for you, but it made Isaiah out to be a liar when it was a misinterpretation of what was said. He should have been talking to Isaiah about why he was offended. He should have been talking to Isaiah to find out his feelings surrounding the whole thing. And KH really needs to stop the theatrics. She was almost quoting line for line her speech to Cristina about giving the scrub cap back to Burke. All of it should have been handled privately. I love the show. I don't want anything to drastically change. Everyone else needs to butt out and let them heal the hurt feelings and move on. If anyone is fired over the use of the word faggot one time in an argument there is really something wrong with the world and many of the sanctimonious people in it.


Thatericguy, that is just the problem. You don't know anything about this man. You don't know if his apology was sincere or not. You are making an assumption that he was forced to do it. I don't think he had nearly enough help in working through the fallout from the first incident and he obviously didn't have very good advice about how to help himself in this situation since he made matters much worse by discussing it yet again after the GGs. However, I do believe his apology was sincere and I do not believe he lied. He did not call TR a faggot from his perspective. He used the word in an argument with Patirck. I don't believe he even knew TR was in hearing distance. That is what he said and also what TR, Patrick, and Jim Pickens said. TR said he overheard Isaiah refer to him as a faggot during the argument between Isaiah and Patrick. He didn't say he called him one to his face. Now maybe it is just semantics and obviously this is not a word to be thrown around even on a closed set during an argument, but it is not the same thing as calling TR a faggot to his face in a hurtful, mean spirited way that indicated his feelings for his castmate. It is not the same thing at all. People who are out to get Burke, whom I happen to think is a very important character on the show, do not want to take into consideration the circumstances or context or intent. They simply want to blame, hate, and demand. That's what I take exception to. If Isaiah were someone who has had trouble with the other members of the GA cast all along and this was just a sample of bad behavior, I would feel differently. But this was, as far as we know from any reliable source the only time he has had a problem on the set of GA in several years. And it was one incident. The unprofessional way he addressed it at the GGs was not an altercation with his castmates. It was trying to set the record straight with the media. He apologized. There is no reason not to accept the apology and move on.


Grey, on the red carpet, Isaiah did not call anyone a slur. He said that he did not call TR a faggot. He was defending himself against false statements and misrepresentation of what happened. He used the word in anger once on a closed set and not directed at TR. This is part of the problem. People have their minds made up without having the accurate information. There are far worse people in the world for us to focus on.


Yes, MP. It was directed at Patrick. Isaiah told Patirck, "I am not your faggot." What planet do you live on that you don't already know this?


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)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.