Isaiah Washington: Truly Angry, Contemplating Lawsuit

at . Comments

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.


Sarah, were you there? Do you know that even Patrick Dempsey has said that there were absolutely no punches thrown that it did not escalate beyond a verbal altercation? People are crucifying this guy based on speculation, rumor and innuendo. I admire Patrick Dempsey for coming out in support of Isaiah. He has on more than one occasion praised him as an actor and a castmate who takes the role seriously and is intense and passionate about his work.


Hi Steffi. You have to register and login in order to post on the forums now. This was new a few months back to try to keep the spammers off of the forums. It is an easy process to register.


I completely agree with Vicky. Isaiah made a lame comment and apologized for it. I don't understand why that wasn't enough way back in October. Instead TR decided his feelings were hurt and he was going to make Isaiah pay, and he has. Isaiah didn't call TR a slur on either occasion. TR overheard Isaiah use that word in reference to him. That is not the same thing as getting in his face and calling him a name. That is what he was trying to say at the Golden Globes. He certainly was not calling TR a slur when he responded to Ted Casablanca's direct question about the supposed slur. This is a word in our lexicon. He is not the first nor will he be the last to use it. It was called a slang word until we began to lose our freedom of speech in the name of political correctness. The media has twisted this around and made him out to be a villain when in fact he was the victim of TR's vendetta. After overhearing Isaiah use this word, TR went to the media and outed himself blaming it on his costar. TR went on Ellen and appealed to the pro gay audience and community for sympathy. After 8 months and both public and private apologies, TR let the Advocate believe that Isaiah had never apologized to him. I guess they were all lying on Oprah, Patrick Dempsey, James Pickens, Jr., TR, and Isaiah when they said James Pickens set them all down and they apologized and got back to work. Isaiah unintentionally hurt TR's feelings by referring to him by a slang expression for gay, now referred to as a slur. TR purposefully and with premeditation set out to destroy Isaiah's career and get him fired from the show. Who is the victim here? I find TR repulsive, not because of his sexual orientation, but because of his sanctimonious, self-righteous, "poor me" behavior. I will not miss him when I follow Isaiah to whatever new project he selects to undertake. According to "Denny" he is fielding offers from every other network. My only regret is that I won't get to see him play opposite Sandra Oh. They were magical together, and John, to each their own. Over a thousand fans on watched for Burke and Cristina. Many, many more watched for Meredith and Derek. The George and Izzie supporters are in the minority, in fact if you read the abc writer's blog, the fast majority found the relationship disgusting. They are all good actors. Isaiah is a brilliant actor whose understated performance was the perfect compliment to the quirky Sandra Oh. I loved them together and watched primarily for them. Justin Chambers, James Pickens, Jr., Chandra Wilson, and Patrick Dempsey have all stated that Isaiah was great in this show. Even Katherine Heigl, acknowledged his contribution to the success of the show. Don't downplay the importance of this character to the overall success of Grey's Anatomy.


I think this whole thing was blown way out of proportion. I have heard people call other people every name in the book when they are angry. Yes from my co-workers. Yes words like faggot and queer. Did they get fired? No, because everyone says bad things about others when they are angry. I'm not saying it's right, I'm only saying it happens everywhere across the world. But we don't have to act like little kids who cry to the teacher because someone called us a mean name. Can't we act like adults who are mature enough to handle something like that? And I'm not even talking about TR. I guarentee he got over it a long time ago. I'm talking about the gay and lesbian alliance and the media who decided that they were going to whine about it for months.
I feel bad for IW. What if someone made you jump hoops for one word you said when you were having a bad day, and then still fired you for it? All you who are judging him, watch your mouths. YOU'RE ALL IN DANGER OF DESERVING TO BE FIRED!


You can't see into his heart hot4dempsey, although you have claimed to for quite some time. The people at GLAAD seemed to think he was sincere. They actually talked with him and he worked with them even contributing to the writing of the PSA. He did everything asked of him to save his job, as would you, but that does not mean that he wasn't sincere and didn't really try to make amends. I am so angry and disappointed in abc that they would treat him in this way. They used him to keep their ratings up through the rest of the season and then let him go. I will not support GA, ABC, or their sponsors after the complete and flagrant disreguard for this fine actor and good human being that they have shown who made a mistake, learned from it, and hopefully will go on to better things. TR certainly got his revenge. Hopefully everyone else on the cast will learn not to cross him. He has friends in media places.


Hey John [^^^], You're wrong! You should go and read Kate's comments [above ^^]. Especially #2!


Guys... are you out of your minds? The guy makes a comment against his own colleague, and then he does everything "just like they told him" to just keep his job. Of course he was going to leave the show, what he did was unacceptable and extremelly unethical. Regardless of who he is in the show, IW made a really big mistake saying what he said, and if he has SOME dignity he should not file a lawsuit against ABC, because HE just like everyone else know that he got what he deserved after his comments. He is making the situation even worse by saying that he did all they told him to do, that shows that he did it because of THEM, to keep his job, and not to renew his dignity. Whatever his character is on the show, he doesn't deserve to stay on the show. There are SO many better actors than him ,that's for sure. Grey's will be just fine because he wasn't the glue holding Grey's, please. Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, Sandrah Oh, Katherine Heigl, T.R Knight, those are alll great actors and the character of Burke will be missed, but the comments he made, and everything he did afterwards just to keep his words won't be missed at all. I wish him good luck in his future career.


I agree, vicky. The only reason I watched the show was for Cristina & Burke. Seriously, they made the show. Know what gets me? At the end of the season, everyone was wondering if both T.R Knight and Isaiah Washington were going to leave. Now we know IW is gone [ridiculous!] and TRK is still on. Look how many people are extremely disappointed & upset that Isaiah Washington won't be back, but nobody gave a damn that T.R. Knight is coming back... That should show ABC that their choice to let IW go was very bad on their part...I hope it comes back to haunt them. I hope IW gets his own show. That'd be great! The only reason I'll tune in to season 4 is to see Cristina cope & talk about Burke. That'll be interesting.


The third season wrap-up makes sense now. Burke's apartment is cleaned out. Yang has no idea where he's gone. The first thing I said to myself when I saw that scene was, 'Isiah's not going to be back'. In my view, Shonda knew Isiah wasn't going to return and so wrote the show (or someone else wrote it) to reflect that. If there's a lawsuit, will his attorney use that scene as proof of a pre-arranged situation to make it easier to just say 'so long'? I don't know, I'm not an attorney. But I think Isiah has grounds for a lawsuit. He may not win, but with all Isiah did (the PSA, etc.) some of which he was TOLD to do, it seems that ABC set up a situation (albeit unspoken) where Isiah would keep his job. If his attorney can prove that, all of this could come back to bite ABC in the butt. As for 'should Isiah go back to Grey's to wrap up the storyline' (which WAS the original question here, folks) NO...Why would he WANT to? I was very vocal here about the stuff Isiah said about TR Knight. I felt he should have been fired. But since he did what ABC wanted him to with the counseling and everything else, now I just feel sorry for him. I have no doubt Isiah will find steady work elsewhere.


i love IW and at first he was the ONLY reason i even watched the show. then as time went on, i grew to love christina yang as well. those two were the only reasons why i watched the show. merideth is the sorriest, neediest,whiniest chick i know. i want mcdreamy to have someone else. i'm tired of seeing him always giving in that relationship and not getting anything in return. She's a grown behind woman. I'm tired of seeing him babysitting his so called dark and twisty girlfriend. She's becoming more and more right for Omalley. That's just how dull she is. I 'm one that has no desire to continue to watch Greys now that IW is gone. If I do it's to see what Christina is going to do, or to hear her talk about him. Heck, whether or not chief gets his wife back is more interesting to me than the new interns or the new sister. everyone else is boring. they were using IW and they are still using him even though he is history. they gave him an enema mixed with alcohol and powdered glass, then screwed him with a broken bottle! and we're suppose to be okay with it. I'm sorry, they used that man. they wrote that amazing scene of him walking up the aisle to end things with the woman he loves, knowing that was the last time we were going to see him. he didn't even know that, that was the end for him. that show is not going to make it eventually. maybe in the first few episodes just to see how thiings pan out, but after that, people are going to be watching "the office' and "my name is earl" and whatever else comes on after that. they killed IW, and they killed the show. don't get me started on TR and his little best friend whinning and running their mouth on television over nothing. i blame them the most. what goes around comes around.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

You almost died like men.


I miss my dad.