Should Isaiah Washington Be Fired?

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Should Isaiah Washington Be Fired?
Should Isaiah Washington be fired from Grey's Anatomy for the gay slur he made in reference to T.R. Knight last fall?

The remark - which has come back to dominate entertainment news again after Washington's denial of the incident at Monday's Golden Globe Awards and T.R. Knight confirming to Ellen DeGeneres today that it did occur - is fueling intense debate among Grey's Anatomy fans and various organizations.

Some think that the issue has been dead for some time and should just be dropped, while others believe Washington should be let go. Count Michael Ausiello - the TV Guide sleuth who can always be counted on to find the latest dirt and tell you how he feels about it - among the latter.

Here's what he says on his blog, the Ausiello Report, responding to a reader inquiry as to whether he witnessed the Golden Globe implosion:

"I certainly was there, and I have the internal scars to prove it. It was by far the ugliest, most uncomfortable press-room moment I have ever experienced. And judging by the shell-shocked faces on the cast â€" particularly T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey, who have been class acts throughout this entire ordeal â€" it was a new low for them, too.

What's ironic about the whole thing is that in Washington's attempt to clear his name, he came off as an out-of-control homophobe who throws the f-word around like it's candy. He's also playing fast and loose with the truth. Did he call T.R. a fa***t to his face? No. Did he refer to him as one behind his back? Yes. T.R. says so himself on today's Ellen DeGeneres Show.

His continued employment on a show that wears its diversity as a badge of honor is the height of hypocrisy. If ABC wants to be remotely true to the principles Shonda Rhimes so eloquently espouses through the show, it has to do the right thing and fire Washington. Anything else at this point is simply unacceptable."

That's just the opinion of one TV critic. But the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is also demanding an apology.

The group's president, Neil Giuliano, said that the remark "does more than create a hostile environment for his castmates and the crew of Grey's Anatomy... It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm's way."

GLAAD has contacted Washington in hopes of setting up a meeting with the actor to raise public awareness about the destructive impact of comments such as this. No word yet on whether he or anyone associated with Grey's Anatomy have been reached or accepted the offer.

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


Whenever I watch the Season 1 and 2 of Grey's it still hurts the way IW was treated and it hurts how Burke was treated in Seaosn 3 and then made to leave in such a unbelievable way. I will always dislike TRK for what he did and he should have been way more sensitive before causing all the fans of IW such pain and destroying IW's career. He has neither class nor decency nor forgiveness and in as incredibly cruel person. I hope his career fails and he finds undying ignominy for what he did to IW.


I saw Isaiah Washington on Larry King tonight he was extremely professional and I believed every word he said. He is confident, talented and consistent . His Firing was a big mistake and will be a detriment to the show. I will only begin to watch again when he is reinstated.


Doesn't this all boil down to IW being fired for something he was only rumoured to have said and has denied. Although there is now outrage over him paraphrasing said "F" word in his denial. What a vindictive little coward TR Knight is. I think I never even noticed him on GA until this happened.


I think it's scary that every few months we have to throw some politically incorrect person to a PC lynch mob. I think it's ridiculous and sickening that pathetic childlike T R Knight is coming out of this looking like a hero, when he reminds me of the whiny teachers pet always tattling to the teacher. I don't see why Knight couldn't have fought his own battels and dealt with Washington as an adult and a professional-this is so Orwellian. And after all the PC intimidation and PC hoops Washington has had to jump through this firing is an even greater outrage. Let this be a lesson: You can never placate a PC lynch mob, so stand up to them; you have nothing to lose.


I feel sorry what have happened,but I think no one should be fired.Because performer should be professional!Everyone has some character that maybe someone else can`t accept it,but it dosen`t matter their career,their job...
Also,everyone will make mistake...
SO,forget it...
By the way,I love GA....


Well, J.Merk, perhaps he can't understand at this age that he is a bigot because he isn't one. It was an incident of name calling. Not even name calling because he didn't call anyone the name. He used the word but not directed at anyone. It does not warrant firing. If anyone should be fired it should be TR Knight for bringing all of this controversy on the show by publicly outing himself and blamiing it on his castmate. Who in the world are you to presume that you have any knowledge at all of what is in this man's hear let alone his soul. Show me a pattern of bigotry. Show me other instances when Isaiah showed any kind of contempt for the gay community. Show me some evidence before you get on your high horse and make such outrageous statements about another human being. Of course Grey's Anatomy and ABC should not fire Isaiah. You make absolutely no sense. In one sentence you say rehab is silly and in thenext you say take ownership, go to counseling. That is exactly what he has done. Tell me do you even watch the show? Are you a fan at all? Or do you just have a gay agenda to promote regardless of who you hurt in the process.


Grey's Anatomy and ABC are complete hypocrites to not fire Isiaih Washington. How can he not understand at his age that he's a bigot, a homophobe? It's not that complicated. Keeping him on the show is as good as stating a TV series is more important than making an example of Washington by firing him for his unprofessional outburst and, later, offensive use of a slur that betrays utter ignoance and a very real ugliness at the core of his soul. The rehab business is silly. Take ownership, go to counselling if you're too young or immature to recogize you're a bigot - regardless, he should quit or be fired.


No he should not be fired. It woudl ruin a vital part of the show. Not only would he suffer, so would all of the fans of Grey's Anatomy. Everyone says stupid things, his job is to be an actor, he doesn't get paid to be a roll model, get over, and don't let it ruin a good show.


I am a white South African women and if they fire Isaiah I will stop watching Grey's Anatomy and believe me it's the only show on television that I watch - I love it and I can't wait for June 2007 when it comes back to South Africa. I have bought series 1 & 2 on DVD just to keep me going until June. McDreamy is my favorite character but my second favorite is Dr Burke and then coming in very close in third place is Shonda Rhimes.
I don't know why TR is making such a huge issue about this when he hid his sexuality in the closet until last year and now all of a sudden his at the forefront of gay activism. Isaiah is a good man and people say things in the heat of an argument without thinking and anyway if TR did not hear this slur with his own ears and was not confronted by Isaiah face to face with the slur - how could he have been hurt by the comment! He should just put on his big boy underpants and deal with it. We live in a world were we still have freedom of speech and opinion. We have to tolerate many things but we don't have to like or embrace them and no one should loose their job over such BS!


I dont think Washington should be fired although his words were wrong to use in any context. I feel as though the entire cast should be handling this thing outside of the public. Is it not enough to have a hit show without airing your fueds and making yourselves seem immature? Come on guys drop you are supposed to be professionals, the cast fighting in public trying to take Washington down when he is a seasoned veteran actor and the other two have yet to even do any thing of note other than the show, grow up all of you. Do you think all the other hit shows of the past went without its backstage spats? Save it for the memoirs


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)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.