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 also feel I need to wade in and defend IW in this mess. As many have said it is just a sympton of how much power and influence the media wields and how we as thinking human beings need to get a grip, take a step back and view this dispassionately.
This was a workplace incident between 3 people that got out of hand because of - the media. They and the network have tried to deal with the fallout and the dust had settled (doubtful) until unfortunately IW made a mistake and here we all go again villifying him from our pulpits. He did not repeat faggot to humiliate TRK or insult gay people, he was simply (mistakenly) trying to end what had obviously been a painful subject for him and everyone else. He went about it in a clumsy manner but I am convinced he meant no harm. What is also sad is how unforgiving and one-sided KH appears to be and how TRK is so not over this despite declarations by all and sundry that they had all "moved on". Clearly it has never been so and I am so afraid that this time there will be no rest till IW's head is served up on a platter.
If that happens I do not think I will be watching GA again not because I am trying to make a statement but it will not be as exciting for me. Goodness knows there is so much to watch out there that whatever I do see must have meaning in some form or the other for me to enjoy it. Burke is the best part of the show for me.
Hello ladies, it's been a while. Hope you are all well. (despite all the controversy) especially you BB.


I'm glad that he apologized but something should be done to him. This is twice now that he's said it. The first time might have been a slip of the tongue and said out in anger but it still hurt T.R. What his excuse this time? This subject was almost dead and he alone brought it back to life. And another thing, there is a big double standard because if T.R were to turn around and call Isaiah the n-word because he's gotten fed up with being called the f-word T.R. would be fired by the end of the day. But T.R. is being a bigger man about it. God Bless him because I, for one, know that if someone kept provoking me I would come out swinging.


I'm glad he apologized. I know people are hurt, but we as fans of the show need to start taking steps forward too and not continue to argue the subject. I heard on the news that people are boycotting the show until he's fired. People, TR is suffering too if the show isn't being watched. We shouldn't penalize such a talented cast and crew for this. I know its a big deal, but the worst thing we can do is blow it up even bigger. We need to let them move on!


Sorry, but this whole thing is NOT of the media's making. Last October's frakas was laid to rest until IW stupidly gave it the light of day again on Monday night at the GG's and out and out lied on top of it. KH was right, he should not speak in public. I'm tired of this kind of behavior from people who should know better. An apology is great the first time something happens, but not the second time. I don't know whether IW should be fired over it, but I don't think it would be a great loss to the show if he was. I know others feel differently, and I respect your views. Obviously, some of you think his actions were no big deal. But for many of us, his remarks are very hurtful and demeaning. Not something you just "get over." And please also notice that his apology only came after been officially chastised by ABC and he realized his job might be on the line. That's about as insincere an apology as I've ever heard. A forced apology has no meaning.


This has been said before, but I wonder how Burke Backer would have reacted if someone had called Isaiah Washington or spoken about him in a racist fashion...


well i am glad that IW is once again apoligizes and he is going to do what he needs to inorder to make this okay.... Now lets all concentrate on the show...........


i believe it was blown out of proportion as well. i am in no way condoning his choice of words, however, i do feel the situation should have remained in the workplace and not leaked out to the public. the media created this frenzy and amplified everyone's emotions surrounding it. IW is being crucified for goodness sakes. he has tried to make amends more than once, albeit his manner in doing so was more than questionable. nonetheless numerous apologies were given. i think these last comments which include the denial were his attempt to lay the media scrutiny to rest. (hopefully his private apologies to TRK and PD acknowledged his mistake and were heartfelt and sincere.) however, KH and TRK's public comments have heightened the situation yet again. as far owing the entire gay community an apology, that's just ridiculous. this is between the 3 actors involved and no one else. everyone else needs to just let it be, let them be, and enjoy the show. if there is any more said he truly will be in danger of losing his job and that would be a terrible, awful thing. he is a wonderful actor and preston burke is IW. no one could fill his shoes on grey's anatomy. and please don't hurt me because of my comments -- i'm little! lol ;)


I am a very big fan of GA. I am also a very big fan of TR and IW. Being a fan shouldn't mean that we turn a deaf ear to one's mistakes either. I believe IW has some issues with the gay community that he needs to address and resolve and he does not need to take his frustrations out on TR. I also believe the media is blowing this way out of porpotion. We live in a society that is hyper-sensitive to everything. I think we have a tendency to allow the media guide our thoughts as to how we should think and feel about any subject matter. I don't think IW should be forced to resign, but I do think he needs to take some time to seek some help and resolve his issues. I think he needs to do more than apologize to TR. IW of all people should no better than to make descriminatory, gratuitous comments about one's sexual preference when he himself has experienced his own discriminations for his ethnicity. We have a forgiving society. I think he should take some time to redeem himself. I don't think he needs to kiss the public's bottom. This is between TR and IW.


This happened two times (that we know of), and second time it wasn't a mistake, it was on purpose. Please keep in mind that he also made some comments on the red carpet prior to the event, and that TR himself said nothing happened, when they were asked about it during press conference, but then Mr. Washington stepped in and performed his stunt.
I guess turning a blind eye on all of this and ignoring facts makes it easier to look at ourselves in the mirror.
Oh, the ignorance...


This is one fan who WILL quit watching if IW is asked to leave. He is the only one who can play Dr. Burke and does so exceptionally. I agree, BB, this has been blown completely out of proportion - these people are coworkers for heavens sake and every now and then coworkers clash - it doesn't mean folks should be calling for his resignation as I heard on my radio station this morning. What is wrong with this world - people make mistakes every now and then.....eveyone needs to get over it and get back to work.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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.


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)