Isaiah Washington Explains Behavior in Lengthy Interview With Larry King

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Trying to Clear His Name
Isaiah Washington blamed co-star Patrick Dempsey's repeated tardiness to the Grey's Anatomy set for the infamous blow-up which resulted in Washington using a homophobic slur.

Interviewed last night on Larry King Live, Washington said he regretted that he did not confront Dempsey the first time he was late to the set, so he challenged him when the actor was late again.

But Dempsey wanted to delay the scene more to wait for Grey's star Ellen Pompeo, who plays Dempsey's love interest, before shooting began.

"I said I don't need Ellen, I can act," Washington told Larry King. "And that was the moment that sent it into a different zone."

According to Washington, Patrick Dempsey erupted.

"He became unhinged, sprayed spittle in my face," said Washington, in his first TV interview about the controversy. "I'm asking him why is he screaming at me... He just becomes irate."

That's when Washington said "a lot of things I'm not really proud of."

"I said several bad words," he recalled, quoting himself as telling Dempsey: "There's no way you're going to treat me like the B-word, the P-word or the F-word."

He said that the "F-word" was not meant as an anti-gay slur, but implied "somebody who is being weak."

Washington also strongly denied he ever directed the word at gay costar T.R. Knight, as frequently reported and insinuated by the press.

"I am not homophobic, in no way, shape or form," said Washington.

As for T.R. Knight claiming the slur was directed at him, Isaiah Washington said that is patently false.

"That's a lie. He misrepresented himself," Washington said, suggesting that Knight did that to advance his career and get more money.

"He has been very disappointed in playing the character he has been playing. He told me that," Isaiah added.

But Washington said he felt badly about repeating the slur backstage at the Golden Globe Awards, when he attempted to explain the context in which he used it in the first place.

"I wish I could take that back," Isaiah Washington said.

He became emotional at one point in the interview.

When King asked if any cast members had written him, Washington paused and appeared close to tears when recalling that Sandra Oh had.

Washington attended counseling and finished Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy after the incident, but was released from the hit ABC series a month ago as Preston Burke was written out of the show.

Larry King said on the air that the Grey's Anatomy producers, Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight all declined to comment.

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


i want him season 4..there's no grey's anatomy without Isaiah Washington


i want him season 4..there's no grey's anatomy eithout Isaiah Washington


Thanks whateverbub!


I will miss Burke and I think Isaiah Washington is a fine actor- however, I think people have to understand that his interview was obviously self-serving. I bet if he hadn't done what he did at the Golden Globes (grabbing the mike from Shonda and using the word "faggot" in front of a room full of reporters) he probably would still have a job, IN SPITE of the dust-up with PD and using the word in whatever the original context was. ABC was playing it cool, TR Knight was playing it cool (he didn't talk about the incident until AFTER the Golden Globes.) The person who started it up again was IW. I'm sad to see Burke go, I'm sure Shonda and ABC are sad to see the character go but I understand why they did it.


First, people are saying over and over that his story doesn't match what was said in other interviews, but it does in fact match what KH said on the Ellen show (before TR went there), so I do believe this story. Second, I don't think that using "the word" when not directed at anyone or just to deny having used it is bad... It's an hypocrisy to say "ohh, the F word" when everyone knows what the means, it's implied, and it's socially acceptable. But he apologized. He did the damn meetings, he blamed himself and only mentioned others to explain the reasons he might have snapped off. I know gay people that weren't either insulted or in any way affected with what was said... Everyone said that the media blew this thing out of proportion. And even Larry King, who usually won't let people get away with anything, believed him. It's obvious he won't come back to the show, and I think it is a pity. It was a great character. But for some reason lead actors are rarely black in big series, so being a "liberal story" where everyone's life is given the same degree of attention, it must have made too many people angry.


He's telling what happened, and as E! reported he didn't say she was late, only that PD wanted to wait for her, that didn't been she was late. Is was about PD constant tardiness.


Hiya Vicky, EP stands for Ellen Pompeo.


what's ep stand for?


He's bringing EP into this now too, good lord man shut up!


McYummyMyTummy you should look on youtube and type in "Larry King" or "Isaiah Washington" and you should be able to find it. Hope that helps.


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.