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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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The show is great with all the organic characters!!!! We shouldn't have do watch the show with out them. Isaiah Washington is taking the appropriate actions. He has done wrong, and admitts to it and regrets it, and now he is doing his best do rectify the situation. Why cant we leave it at that. Truth be told it has nothing at all do with anyone but Isaiah and T.R.. Nothing. Everyone should keep out of it and let the two of them Hash it out. If T.R. can work through it thats all the matters. Its him that has to work with him day to day not any of us. He's the bigger man.

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So happy it appears that this debacle is finally coming to an end. Thank goodness we can all get back to just discussing the show now. I must comment on Liz's post above -- LMAO too funny!!!!

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My only concern is that of T.R.'s! Not IW! Shame on him and who does he think he is? A pity really, to have lost such credibility and put such shame to such a wonderful show! Frankly, when push comes to shove, who could we really live without?

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I think people need to stop getting thier feeling hurts. I say welcome back Dr. Burke. The gay community is so dramatic.

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YAY!!!! Burke is back! Thanks to everyone who supported Isaiah Washington during this difficult time. I do agree with the "K's"....Katie, Kerry, and Karen. And just to let y'all know...I hope Katherine is happy because her little immature comments landed her in InTouch Weekly. Like Karen said...no publicity is BAD publicity. I would call Ms. Katherine out of her name, but I would not want to too critizied for my thoughts and opinions and have to go to rehab for it!

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In my opinion... firing IW for being a homophobe would be like firing TRK for being gay. I don't agree with what he said, but he's taking steps to make ammends which is a lot more than some people would do. Hopefully he can work through the issues he has and come out a better person in the end.

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I am a huge fan of IW, and am so thrilled that IW is back, not only because I couldn't imagine him not being without Cristina, or not being able to watch the phenomenal acting skills of IW and SO, but I feel that people should be given chances, chances to right what was wrong.

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The show would just go downhill if he got fired... people make mistakes, everyone does it... it just like if someone entered rehab for drinking, they can change and learn from their ways... i am glad he is comming back to the show, i think he will change for the better. This i think will make it better, and make them closer

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ok, so once a homophob, always a homophob..
once a faggot, always a faggot, see the connection???
!!!! so what if he called him a faggot, DEAL WITH THIS among themselves..don't make a public splash out of it... As a woman of color, I fully recognize what my constitution rights entail. However, I don't have a problem with those who choose not to respect me and call my names...because that is THEIR problem, not mine. My confidence and self-esteem remains intact regardless. Look, this thing has been going on for too long. I think KH, IW and TR should all just shut the hell up and do a good job.... heck, maybe it is all a publicity stunt...as they say , no publicity is BAD publicity...

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Thank goodness. I really hope that this is a positive sign that the parties involved are able to move past this. Isaiah has stated many times in both live interviews and in print that he loves being on this show, is honored to be working with these people, and very much likes and appreciates his castmates. This incident should be seen for what it was, a word spoken in anger not intended to hurt anyone including his castmate who overheard the remark. As one columnist put it talent is not universal and his loss would have greatly damaged the show. For those of us who are fans, no one else could play Preston Burke and his loss would have been devastating. I hope that this is an indication that ABC/Touchstone has a clearer head and a more forgiving heart than some of the fans who have spewed a never ending stream of vindictiveness and hatefulness at Isaiah. Good luck to all of the members of the cast.

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