Isaiah Washington by Bob D'Amico/ABC
This story has more wrinkles than Abe Vigoda. In a candid interview with the Houston Chronicle, Isaiah Washington says, "They fired the wrong guy," positing that contrary to popular belief, the anti-gay slur he spewed during the infamous on-set row with Patrick Dempsey was not aimed squarely at T.R. Knight, though the now-out Grey's Anatomy cast member has said that it was. "That's a lie," Washington says, suggesting that Knight was the one responsible for creating a negative workplace environment, and used the incident as leverage for increases in pay and amount of screen time.As first hinted in TVGuide.com's Ausiello Report, Washington confirms he is pondering a lawsuit against ABC, saying, "My livelihood, my honor, my dignity and my name have been so challenged." He then cops to making three errors in judgment: "Believing the cast... were like family; believing I had the freedom to express myself with family and that we could resolve our issues; and trusting ABC was going to take...
Isaiah Washington by Karen Neal/ABC
Jasmyne Cannick, a gay and lesbian activist who worked with Isaiah Washington on the Pan African Arts Festival, has authored a petition to get the actor hired back onto Grey's Anatomy, saying that his axing has an air of racism. The decision to drop Washington "further adds to a disturbing new trend at ABC wherein minority actors have been dismissed at an alarming rate over the past two years," says the petition, citing Star Jones (formerly of The View), Harold Perrineau (Lost) and Housewives' trifecta of Alfre Woodard/Mehcad Brooks/Page Kennedy as examples. "One must ask themselves, 'What is going on?'" What's more, Cannick argues to the New York Post, "Isaiah has done more for the gay and lesbian community than T.R. Knight did in or out of the closet. He did what they asked him to do [apologize and star in a PSA], and now they want to make sure he will never work again. At what point is enough enough?"POLL: Should ABC reconsider firing Isaiah? Vote here (bottom right).
Isaiah Washington by Scott Garfield/ABC
Isaiah Washington is "saddened by the outcome" of events started last fall that led to him being let go by Grey's Anatomy. Echoing that which his rep told Ausiello last Friday, Washington tells Entertainment Weekly, "I did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do.... I thought that was going to speak for my future at Grey's, but apparently that wasn't the same vision [they] had for me."Washington doesn't shed light on Grey'screator Shonda Rhimes' personal take on the sitch "You have to understand that she's at the helm of one of the top-rated scripted shows" nor does he say where things stand with him and T.R. Knight, instead saying, "You have to ask T.R. that."As for how this scrape might impact his career, he says, "I have to go about the business of letting people know what's written about me is not the truth.... It's a horrible misunderstanding what transpired with our show, and it was blown out of proportion. If the naysayers out there feel tha...
Question: Why did ABC wait so long to fire Isaiah Washington?
Answer: The alternative would've been to fire him in the middle of the season, and that would've been a disaster both legally and creatively. The easiest thing to do was release him at the end of his contract cycle, and that's what happened. What's not clear is when exactly the decision to dump him was made. Some say it was as far back as February; others insist a final verdict didn't come down until last week. Only a handful of people know for sure, and, unfortunately, one of them is nicknamed the Information Nazi.
Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy
Question: What's been the fallout from Isaiah Washington's Grey's firing?
Answer: Well, the folks over at Grey's are apparently steamed about comments Isaiah's rep, Howard Bragman, made to me on Friday — specifically the part about how his client jumped through hoops only to be fired anyway. "Apparently, Isaiah missed the point that he should have been apologizing and working on his anger issues because it's the right thing to do," whispers a Grey's insider. "It wasn't just supposed to be an empty exercise he went through for the sake of appearances."
Jeffrey Morgan by Todd Williamson/WireImage.com
We caught up with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played Denny on Grey's Anatomy, over the weekend at the 18th annual A Time for Heroes Celebrity Carnival in L.A.Sponsored by Disney, it's a benefit for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Celebrities volunteer their time in carnival-style game booths, including an enchanted castle and the pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean. Jeffrey was happy to talk about what he's been doing this summer, what Isaiah Washington told him about leaving Grey's and his special flair for icing cupcakes. TV GUIDE: What brings you here today?Jeffrey Dean Morgan: The event and the cause. TV GUIDE: Do you have a serious job here that you're doing?JDM: Here? Yeah, I am decorating cupcakes. That's my serious job. TV GUIDE: Have you been practicing? JDM: I did. I got some frosting yesterday and decorated my dog's head and she looks great, so yeah, I did a little bit of practicing.TV GUIDE: So what have you been doing for work?JDM: I've just finished ...
Isaiah Washington by Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Turns out, 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, tells me, "Isaiah really is angry."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 fe...
The Ausiello Report, which first reported the firing on Thursday afternoon, has all of the details and 144 comments at last count! so check out the story there. But in a nutshell? ABC isn't picking up the actor's option for next season, and Isaiah is a William Holden fan. UPDATE: Ausiello got some rather illuminating details from Isaiah's rep. Check it out.POLL: Do you think ABC was right to fire Isaiah? Vote here.At the risk of being late for my Hostel II screening, I have prepared for you this retrospective:One Isaiah Washington and one Patrick Dempsey have a to-do over something or another on the Grey's set (10/11/06)Chandra addresses recast talk (10/25/06)Ellen Pompeo says things have "calmed down" backstage (12/29/06)T.R. says Isaiah lied with Globes denial (1/17/06)ABC calls Isaiah's behavior "unacceptable" (1/18/07)Isaiah speaks: "I can neither defend nor explain my behavior" (1/18/07)GLAAD slams Isaiah (1/18/07)Heigl says Isaiah needs to just "not speak" (1/19/...
Isaiah Washington by Ron Tom/ABC
Yeah, you read that headline correctly. Multiple sources are telling me that Isaiah Washington will not be returning to Grey's Anatomy next season. An ABC Studios spokesperson confirms that the actor's contract option has not been picked up, but declined further comment.One insider, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, speculated that the decision was likely due only in part to the T.R. Knight homophobic-slur scandal and the subsequent fallout. "There was a pattern of problematic behavior going back before he used the F-word," says my spy. "I imagine [his dismissal] was the result of all of that." Washington's rep, Howard Bragman, confirmed the news, adding that his client was informed by Grey's executive producer Shonda Rhimes earlier today that he was not being invited back to the show. In a statement, Washington, referencing the iconic line from Network, said, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." (He's kidding.... I think.)Plot-wis...
T.R. Knight and Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy
Question: I heard yesterday that T.R. Knight will not be returning to Grey's Anatomy next season! What the frak?!
Answer: For the last time: T.R. Knight is definitely returning to Grey's next season — and full-time. Anyone who tells you different is a big fat liar. (EW.com, meanwhile, is reporting that Knight will receive $125K per episode, plus a small piece of the show's profits.) The only cast member facing an uncertain future is Isaiah Washington, and I'm hearing that a decision about him could be made within the next week or so.