Isaiah Washington: Truly Angry, Contemplating Lawsuit

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Isaiah Washington wasn't joking when - in response to being axed from Grey's Anatomy yesterday - he issued the Network-inspired statement: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."

In an exclusive interview, the actor's spokesperson, Howard Bragman, told TV Guide that "Isaiah really is angry."

An Angry Isaiah
Particularly mystifying to the star is the timing of his ouster: months after he revived the F-word controversy by repeating the slur backstage at the Golden Globes.

"If they wanted to fire him," Bragman asks, "why didn't they fire him when [the incident] happened? Why did they say, 'Here's what you need to do if you want to come back… ' and then, when he did everything that was asked of him, he still gets fired. Why do you treat somebody like that?

"If you made a mistake, you acknowledged the mistake, you went into counseling, you met with the groups, you did the PSA, you did everything that was asked of you, and then they still kick you in the gut? How would you feel?"

While Bragman says there was no formal agreement with ABC that if Washington did X, Y and Z he could keep his job, "there was a discussion and it was agreed upon that this is what needs to be done to come back, and he did everything...And, in fact, we were the ones that pushed for the PSA."

Although Bragman won't rule out Washington taking possible legal action against ABC, he adds, "It would be premature to speculate. We have time to discuss that."

(A rep for ABC studios declined to comment on a potential lawsuit, but a studio executive with knowledge of the TV biz says producers have the legal right to not pick up an actor's option â€" with or without cause.)

Might Washington, who is currently shooting the independent movie The Least of These in Los Angeles, make a brief return to Grey's to tie up Burke's loose ends? "That would be a question for ABC," Bragman says. "I certainly can't imagine they would tell him they're not renewing his contract and then ask him to come back and clean things up."

What do you think? Should ABC have Washington come back for a cameo in order to actually send him off properly? Sound off on our

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




Well, I made this comment elsewhere and I will repeat it here; I wish to humbly thank all of those people that have forgiven me with endless grace and patience when I didn't deserve it. So, I will certainly not be hurling any brickbats at Mr. Washington. He made mistakes and tried to make amendments. What can he do if he has apologised umpteen times, done what has been requested of him and is still found to be wanting? I can recall toward the beginning of the year Sharon Stone being quoted as saying that she found the whole furore ridiculous because she frequently called her gay friends the same word that has turned Mr. Washington's world upside down. Strangely enough, I saw no backlash or censorious opinions head the lady's way because of it... It's been heartening to see the degree of support for Mr. Washington's portrayal of the sizzling Dr. Burke (oh, what a man, what a man, what a man!!!) in many of the comments, here. Others have also shown true generosity of spirit and an "all-too-familiar" recognition of human fallibility and frailty. As an English viewer who will not bother to watch Grey's Anatomy again, I wish that I'd really taken the time to appreciate the fine acting fare that Mr. Washington placed in front of me in the role of Dr. Burke. It was both a privilege and a pleasure to see the man at work. Who is going to be able to recreate with Cristina the kind of chemistry that she had with the fine Dr.? I just want to say thank you to Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington for forming one of the most memorable and charismatic screen couples that I have ever seen on either the small or big screen. What can I say about the tedious "Heigl & Knight Show"? For me, if you like vaguely talented and mildly entertaining then they are just fine. I wonder how they are going to cope with all eyes on them in the upcoming season. They might find that bright spotlight to be a little crueller and more unforgiving than they could ever have imagined.... Also, without the wonderful Kate Walsh, another major incentive to watch the show, disappeared. Ah, well. I look forward (eagerly!) to viewing Mr. Washington's next acting project and would like to wish Ms. Walsh the very best in her next endeavour. It




Burke Backer... I don't know you...but I love your comments and endless supports toward Preston Burke/Isaiah Washington...Thank You... Isaiah/Burke will always and forever have my support! All the best!!!


I found George and Izzie so annoying....... Burke was one of the reasons I watch the show...... Even if they replace him with another actor.... I don't think I'll be watching the new season..... It's going to end up being a whiney show, with George, Izzie and Merideth doing nothing but whining. Hopefully Bailey and Yang can successfully carry the show, as they are the only characters that don't whine!!!


I totally am on the same boat as you though Kate no matter how long that was haha. I agree with everything that you wrote... and the fact that I agree with you when you say Grey's is going downhill makes me a bit sad, I love Grey's but like you said "I'm out" also if it keeps going downhill.


Um...that was longer than I meant it to be. Sorry...


I agree with various commentors that have said this: The whole situation has been handled very, very poorly since its eruption. It's too bad, because it's likely that things wouldn't have to be as bad as they are if better actions were taken right at the start.
I think that Grey's Anatomy/ABC/Shonda/whoever has been taking a lot of big risks lately. Unless they've already got some grand masterminded plan, a lot of damage has been done and it might not be able to be reversed. A main character, Addison/Kate Walsh (and god I hope a whole "main vs. insignificant character thing doesn't erupt there - I'm sick of seeing those, sorry) will not be returning to Grey's, which makes a lot of people unhappy. With the spinoff, no matter how optimistic people are about it, unfortunately spinoffs have an extensive history of failure. I would love to see Private Practice do well, but I'm guessing that it's not likely that it won't have any kind of stellar success, and I'm guessing it won't be terribly long-lived either. Back at Grey's Anatomy, there is the controversial triangle of George, Izzie, and Callie; Cristina seems like she's lost herself along with Burke, so she's just kind of floating out there in space right now; George's future is uncertain and seemingly with not much place to go since he failed the exam; Bailey didn't get Chief Resident, so we'll probably see her confidence take a nosedive (similar to her "mommy situation"); Alex also seems to be kind of floating out there because it seems his 2 potential love interests are both gone; the introduction of Lexie Grey seems to have met a mostly negative response/ and, of course, Meredith and Derek look as if they may be no more. Now Dr. Burke is gone, leaving a slew of questions such as: Who will replace him? What will happen to Cristina? No matter how much one may dislike him, a character cannot simply disappear, and you certainly can't just stick another guy in there and call him Preston Burke. I guess I'm somewhat on the fence for this one: Burke was no major favorite of mine, but I certainly didn't dislike him - the character and acting were great, and I think his absence will be noticed. It was a bad situation for Isaiah as a person, and he's probably getting what was coming to him. Though I agree that it does seem a little sad that all the things he tried to do to apologize turned out to be for nothing. I suppose one would have to know all the true details before being able to really state a rational opinion about it all.
As a true Grey's Anatomy fan, it saddens me to see such ugly controversy surround the people that make Grey's happen, especially after the first 2 seasons were so great. I liked Season 3 as well, but I can see why many people are saying that Grey's is headed downhill. I will be tuning in to Season 4 to see if they can manage to pick up the mess, but if things don't improve... (never thought I'd have to say it, but) I'm out.


However cute that was, Mr. Washington is still gone!


To T.R. Knight Supporters, "Mr. Washington" did something so little as to call someone a name, and apologizied and did everything in his power to try and get everything normal again and did what was expected of him in order to get his career back. You're sliding with an attacker who went to the press and talk shows and repeated what was said (TRK). That's a no-no in my book.


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.