Shonda Rhimes Discusses Firing of Isaiah Washington, Reflects On Season 3

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Shonda Rhimes, Grey's Anatomy Creator
Shonda Rhimes has finally broken her silence.

Ever since Grey's Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington was released from the series two weeks ago, the world surrounding TV's top drama has been in a state of and upheaval.

But Rhimes, in an interview with Access Hollywood Thursday (June 14), as reported by Entertainment Weekly, says she is happy with how Isaiah Washington's character's story ended.

"I feel like we wrote the show in a way that really completes the story of Preston Burke, and that is a really strong thing," she said.

Burke broke off his wedding to Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and skipped out in the May 17 season finale of Grey's Anatomy.

The show will not recast the role with a new actor.

"I've said it before, I and I will say it again," Shonda Rhimes said. "I don't believe in replacing one actor with another. I think a replacement is a little bit odd in terms of somebody who has been on the show for three years."

The decision not to bring Washington back next season was the culmination of months of speculation after an ugly incident last fall, when the actor was accused of referring to co-star T.R. Knight by a gay slur in an on-set disagreement with castmate Patrick Dempsey.

Washington then reignited the turmoil when he dubiously repeated the slur in front of reporters backstage at the Golden Globes in January.

The embattled actor spoke publicly about his being let go for the first time earlier this week when he talked to

"I'm saddened by the outcome," he said. "I did everything the producers and the network asked me to do. I came back under great duress and stress, and thought I was doing the job I was hired to do. I thought that was going to speak for my future at Grey's, but apparently that wasn't the same vision that the network and studio had for me."

Despite the controversy over Washington's remarks - and over the star being dismissed, Shonda Rhimes told Access Hollwood that she viewed Season 3 as a positive one for the show.

"We won the Golden Globe this year," Rhimes stated. "I think the show took itself to new heights this year, I think we explored different things for women this year, I think we have had amazing guest casts this year. I think it's been a sweet, sweet year for us."

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


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

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)