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Washington to Return to Set This Week

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Embattled star Isaiah Washington is scheduled to return to the Grey's Anatomy set as early as Thursday for the first time since entering counseling after making a homophobic slur, People reports.

Washington to Return to Set This WeekIsaiah Washington, who plays Dr. Preston Burke, has not been on the set since January 23, the day before he issued a statement saying he would seek counseling "as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again."

He also missed picking up a trophy at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards that honored the Grey's Anatomy cast.

Best actress winner Chandra Wilson alluded to his absence, saying in her acceptance speech, "It's about the 10 cast members sitting over there and the other one in rehab."

A source familiar with the Grey's Anatomy production schedule tells People that Washington has confirmed he'll arrive for his next call time, now set for Thursday, although the show's production schedule changes.

Washington has been at the center of controversy since using a homophobic slur in reference to T.R. Knight, who is gay. After a firestorm of criticism, Washington issued an apology, then on January 23 announced he had entered counseling.

"I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity and am committed to transforming my actions into positive results, personally and professionally," said the 43-year-old acto, who has also met with leaders of the gay community in an attempt to rectify his actions.

While we don't know anything for sure, this is a good indication that ABC believes - as many fans and columnists have opined - that Grey's Anatomy and its cast will survive the controversy and remain intact.

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

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im a burke and cristina fan.please please bring isaiah back.

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hi my name is Norkor and im from Ghana, West Africa.
I love watching grey,s anatomy and of cos i love Isaiah He made a mistake he has apologised.can we all please get over it.
We want him back on the set pleeaaaseee!

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Hello My name is Dorine Poawui, I am from Sierra Leone West Africa. I was watching the News last week and I heard that Mr. Isaiah Washington roots is from my country and tribe. I am from the Mende Tribe from Damballa. My grandfather was Chief Kargobai in Damballa. I was born in Bo. I am leaving August the 26th to go to Sierra Leone for my Grandmother Baja Kargobai's funeral.If by any chance I can be some kind of help please let me know.

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Hey Eileen, I think what IW did was wrong but the comment once a homophobe, always a homophobe isn't true for everyone. I used to have problems with gays up until (nearly 20 years ago) I found out my very best friend was gay, He was having such a hard time accepting it and was going through so much pain and I was forced to face this issue. It wasn't easy but I really had to think about my beliefs and re evaluate my way of thinking. And I am really glad I did because I learned that I was wrong and that my beliefs were too. I do feel for TR Knight for being subjected to that but perhaps, if IW is truly going for councelling etc., then this isn't such a bad thing if it means that he can open his mind an accept that gays are no different than anyone else.

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SeanK, do you realize by your definition you just called Isaiah the n-word. If by saying the word in the same sentence with someone you are calling the person that word, you have just uttered a racial slur. If this had been Patrick Dempsey calling TR the f-word would the n-word even enter your mind? They are not parallel. The n-word has been uttered far more times that you can count and with no reprecussions. Save the sanctimony for a worthier cause.

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Hey Babs, Who could we really live without? Any of them, probably, but I would miss Isaiah far more than any of the others. If Isaiah, Sandra, Ellen, and Derek were the only ones on the show, I would watch. I also love Alex and I am liking Addison more all of the time. I could easily live without George or Izzie. So I guess in spite of your bolded letters it is still a matter of personal opinion. I would not want to have any of the original cast leave the show, but I would stop watching without Isaiah. I am glad that TR has garnered so much sympathy for himself. The entire incident has given him more visibility and name recognition as an actor than ever before. He should be sending Isaiah roses instead of calling him a liar on Ellen. There are two men here who saw the incident differently. You are chosing to believe TR Knight. version of what he thought he overheard and I am chosing to believe Isaiah's version of what he thought he said. Neither of us know for sure what happened on the set or what was said. All I know is that TR has benefited from this and Isaiah has been victimized. Hmmm. I wonder which one is being more honest.

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I am gay, and I am shocked to see IW said what he said and I don't think enough rehab will change his opinion. However his lack of understanding does not make him a bad actor and I think Cristina won't be as good without him. Although I do feel that they should change his hair a bit :P

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Okay, time to move on!

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While I realize this has probably been said before, I have to say it again: if the situation was reversed, and TR Knight had called Isaiah Washington the "N" word, would everyone be so willing to "forgive and move on"? And do you really think TR would only have been "sent to rehab", instead of being fired? I'm not saying Isaiah should be fired, but I am disturbed by the apparent double standard here.

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Who I really blame this whole issue on is the media. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and to freedom of speech. But because of the media, a bunch of people took offense to something that wasn't aimed at them, and they keep bringing it up even though it happened months ago. They just need to let it die. And while I absolutely love TR Knight, he and the entire gay community need to move on. Everyone on the entire planet has been called a name before. They need to quit acting like (uh oh, another name calling...) babies.

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.

Meredith
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