Isaiah Washington Will Not Be Returning to Grey's Anatomy

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The speculation is over: After a controversial season, Isaiah Washington will not be returning to Grey's Anatomy, his rep and ABC Television Studio have confirmed.

No More Dr. Burke
Howard Bragman, Washington's publicist, says Washington's option was not renewed, and released this statement from the actor: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more."

The quote is a reference to the 1976 film Network, but we doubt the actor was joking around. We also can't imagine what he means, however.

The cast was notified Thursday night of the final decision, which, says a source close to the situation, was a long time coming. In the end, the source says, Washington's behavior made him a liability.

As Grey's Anatomy followers know, rumors ran rampant following the season finale â€" during which Washington's character, Dr. Preston Burke, broke up with his fiancée, Christina Yang (Sandra Oh), and moved out of their apartment â€" that Washington would not be returning.

The actor first came under fire last fall after getting into an altercation with Patrick Dempsey, during which he allegedly referred to castmate T.R. Knight with a homophobic slur.

Washington later apologized, checked into rehab, met with gay leaders and recently released a PSA decrying the use of hate speech.

What do you think of the decision to let Washington walk? Visit our

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


I'm a huge Grey's fan, possibly one of the biggest and I thought it was completely wrong, obviously, of Isaiah Washington to use a gay slur against T.R. Knight, but if someone's gotta go in addition to Kate Walsh (who by the way I think should stay), I'd rather it be Burke than Georgie. Seattle Grace will definately not be the same without Preston, but if George was to leave, there would be a meltdown. I think though Washington is a great actor and plays Burke better than anyone else could, T.R. deserves to stay more. He's Georgie! And using a gay slur against Knight was a complete mistake. Sorry, Isaiah, you're great on Grey's, but you make a big mistake, you pay for it.


Reading the comments here is so sad, heartbreaking...our Burke is gone....


You people keeping saying that if PD were to say the n-word him would have immediately been fired. Will you please, please stop lying. We all know that PD would not have been fired. He would have been given as many changes as needed to make amends. I am so hoping that the main ones that were so judgemental will slip up, and we know that she will. And I know I speaking out of anger, but I'm not apologizing, I've learned that it doesn't help.


I hope he sues the hell out of the them! I'm so over this show. I wish them nothing but the worst.


Notice how nobody cares that T.R Knight is coming back...they're all too busy talking about how outrageous it is that Isaiah Washington won't be back. I agree! George's part was ehhh, okay. But Burke...Burke was an amazing character. I definetely will miss him. He was my favorite! I'm not sure about S4 yet. I might watch just to see Cristina's character. I love her character. We'll see.


if preston burke isn't returning, i honestly have no reason to watch the show. he was the reason i paid attention. and, on another note, there aren't too many television shows that show a strong black male in that position (more especially in a position i see myself being in some time in the future. the chief is great, but burke was the best)...and with burke leaving, i am back to the drawing board. bottom line: without burke, there is no reason for me to watch the show...


Burke's character is the reason so many people watched the show. Besides the fact that he had the best relationship on the whole show, he had the best personality. He was calm, cool, & collected. He also was good looking & just an all-around great actor. Why would ABC fire him when so many people watch the show for him & Cristina's relationship. I don't understand...


Really, really upset.


Not really suprised in IW leaving Grey's.
I really liked his Burke character, I will miss him. But, we really don't know him as Isiah Washington, do we? We know him as who we see every week on TV. Of course we are mourning Burke, not Isiah, right? I wish IW all the luck in the world with his career, but I want Burke back!! Grey's will not be the same. They will have a hard time replacing him as he was one of the original characters. What do you think??


People are looking at it from one of two perspectives: from the Preston Burke side, and from the Isaiah Washington side. Yeah, it's going to be weird to not see Burke roaming the halls, that cool element gone. But it's the Isaiah Washington side that should be getting more attention; yes, he called T.R. a faggot. It was wrong - even though there are plenty of people being called niggas and niggers; it's rampant as well, but it doesn't get a deal of attention because Blacks aren't the media martyrs that the GLBT community are right now. Example: Imus derides the Rutgers basketball team, as "nappy headed hos". Yeah, people initially were in shock, but it quickly wore off after he "apologized " while they were on Oprah. But IW calls him a faggot and the world is in an uproar. Yes, he said it twice. But afterwards, there was genuine remorse. If there wasn't, he wouldn't have went through all that trouble of doing PSAs and the like; but people still want to keep the spotlight on that like it is what we should be concerned with consistently. Point blank, they should have kept him on the show. Watch them replace him with some docile character/actor.


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.