Former Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington - who was let go from the show after the end of the third season in mid-2007 (amid allegations of making homophobic slurs about gay co-star T.R. Knight) - is slamming the show for its recent firing of Brooke Smith.
"I looked at a brilliant actress, whom I have adored since I first saw her in Silence of the Lambs," Washington says in the November 17 issue of TV Guide.
"For her to be treated this way, I find very interesting."
After Brooke Smith was let go, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes released a statement last week insisting she "was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian" and did not think the "chemistry with Brooke's character would sustain in the long run."
Regardless, Isaiah Washington says the move was harsh.
"The fact is that, just before the holidays, you have a mother, a wonderful actress removed from a steady income without the proper reasoning behind it," he said.
"You look at the way another consummate professional [is] being treated because her character, her story line [has] potentially made producers uncomfortable."
He says Shonda Rhimes is getting the raw deal.
"Now that I see what they're doing to a show that I love and I care about, I think it's disgusting," Isaiah Washington said. "The fact that Shonda has been put in this position is extremely unfair. It's unfortunate because it was probably, at the time, the most progressive show on television. Now I see it [being] systematically torn apart."
How can the show be fixed?
"Bring Burke back!" Washington says.
Would he return to the show, despite all the drama? "Absolutely!"