Isaiah Washington

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February 15, 2007: Drowning on Dry Land

I don't know about you, but it seems like all I've thought about all week is Meredith floating in the water. Oh, sure, Anna Nicole entered my thoughts. Idol mania is starting up again. Oscar fever is abounding. But I just could not get that little girl's face — her blank stare — out of my mind. Are you with me here? Oh. My. God. I fricking love this show. Let’s first talk about that ending! After Michael Ausiello and others let the cat out of the bag that Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) would soon be back in some way, shape or form, I was hoping it would be something logical — a dream sequence or a flashback. As long as it wasn't via a TV cliché like a long-lost twin arriving or that he wasn't actually dead. But Meredith temporarily dying and seeing him that way and also seeing the Kyle Chandler character Dylan Young from last season? Absolutely brilliant. Meredith: "Am I... dead?" Denny: "Damn right you are." Meredith: "Holy sh--." OK, we didn't hear her say th... read more

February 1, 2007: Wishin' and Hopin'

I enjoyed reading everyone's predictions last week regarding whether Cristina would say yes to Burke and whether Callie would say yes to George. I loved that we got one answer right away and the other one at the very end — George and Callie had gotten hitched in Las Vegas and Cristina gave Burke a "yes" under one condition: "I'm not wearing a ring." When Cristina put the ring on the counter at the end and told Burke: "I don't do rings," I was thinking she was rejecting his proposal — glad I was wrong.I always like when our favorite interns and doctors relate to their patients, so it was nice that the boyfriend (Matt McTighe) who didn't know his girlfriend (Amanda Collins) had cancer blurted out that he didn’t know her middle name, causing George to ask Callie what her's was. One of the best lines of the episode was George at the end, after he told his roommates that Callie was the most important part of his life now: "Calliope Iphegenia Torres is my wife," which, you ... read more

Regarding your response to ...

Question: Regarding your response to Ed's comment on the Isaiah Washington matter, I think it is important to note that time heals most wounds. I also found myself a bit uncomfortable with the interaction between Burke and George in that week's episode, even though I thought the actors both did a fantastic job. However, if they keep Isaiah Washington in the role, I doubt it will really be an issue for me after a few months or maybe by next season. I believe most people will be able to move on from this in time. Answer: If the actors can get past it, and that remains to be seen, I guess I agree that we, too, can rise above... depending on what happens next in the wake of Washington's "rehab," of course. But I should note that most of the mail I've been getting has gone like this one from Aaron: "Since it doesn't seem likely that Isaiah Washington will be fired for his hateful outbursts, I thought that the best way to punish him would be to have his character become romantically involved read more

I have been reading ...

Question: I have been reading everyone's comments on the Isaiah Washington situation over at Grey's Anatomy. While I agree that it was both wrong and stupid to start the whole fracas again by using the word to deny the use of the word, I think there must be better ways to address the situation than firing Washington and either killing off the character or replacing him. I have found in the past that killing off a main character has had a "jumping the shark" effect on my enjoyment of the show. Perhaps instead the show can use this as a springboard to introduce a gay character and explore the issue in an intelligent manner (though hopefully less preachy than 7th Heaven). After reading your comments regarding the recasting of prime-time characters, I happily recalled the episode of Roseanne when Lecy Goranson returned after Sarah Chalke had taken over the part (and did an excellent job!), and they did the "Identical Beckys" musical number. I thought it was hysterical, and it is my fondest ... read more

Behind Closed Doors: When Isaiah Washington Met GLAAD

Isaiah Washington

Isaiah Washington might be more of a foot-in-the-mouth hothead than a homophobe, but gay groups aren't letting the Grey's Anatomy doc — currently in anger-management counseling — off the hot seat quite yet. TV Guide talked to Neil Guiliano, president of GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and Kevin Jennings, executive director of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), to find out what really went down at their Jan. 22, pre-rehab powwow with the actor, and what they still want to see from him. "We had requested the meeting when we demanded that he apologize," says Guiliano, who says he felt "outrage" at Washington's h read more

Isaiah Scrubs Back In at Grey's

Isaiah Washington is scheduled to return to work at Grey's Anatomy as early as Thursday, his first time back on the set since entering counseling, People reports. In Thursday's Interviews & Features, TVGuide.com takes you behind the closed doors of Washington's Jan. 22 meeting with the leaders of two gay-advocacy groups. Watch for it. read more

Former Costar: "Isaiah's Not Anti-gay; He's a Hothead."

In an interview with the New York Daily News, veterage stage actress Madeline McCray joins a growing chorus of people positing that Grey's Anatomy doc Isaiah Washington simply possesses a rotten bedside manner. "He's not anti-gay; he's a hothead," says McCay, who starred with Washington in August Wilson's Pulitzer-winning play Fences. "[That] leads him to say and do things he wishes he hadn't — to everybody. He's always had a lack of control over his temper." McCay goes on to say, "Isaiah wants it to be perfect.... And he expects everybody else to be on their mark, too. But when we're adults, we can't allow our anger to get the best of us. He's jeopardizing the incredible opportunity [of having] a distinguished role on a hit show created by an African-American woman."Washington, absent from Sunday's SAG Awards, is currently enrolled in a 30-day anger-management therapy program. read more

January 25, 2007: Great Expectations

After seeing the coming attractions last week, in which the announcer emphasized the "last five minutes," I had — just like the title of tonight's episode — "Great Expectations," and I was not disappointed. Two of our favorite gals were proposed to simultaneously, thanks to effective editing, and neither of them gave their answers... at least, not until next week. Will Cristina say yes to Burke? Will Callie say yes to George? Can't see why either of them would say no. But the last five minutes also included Izzie offering to give Bailey some of her eight million dollars to pay for the free clinic Bailey is striving for, if it's called the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic, of course. I was already loving Bailey for being so kind to Izzie when she saw Izzie crying after hugging George: "He gonna be OK?" I've said it before, and I'll say it again: When "the Nazi" shows her soft side, I lose it. After last week, we knew Bailey respected Izzie so this new business relationship wi... read more

Why is it still OK to ...

Question: Why is it still OK to gay-bash in America? Mel Gibson and Michael Richards got the wrath of everyone for their racist remarks, as they well should have. But Grey's Anatomy's Isaiah Washington can call T.R. Knight the F-word and those in charge are snowing it over. I think he should be fired, but the character of Dr. Burke should stay. Why can't prime-time shows take a page from soaps? When an actor leaves a role, they don't lose the character but hire a new actor. We're smart viewers, we get it. Fire Washington and replace him with, say, Taye Diggs. Now that Day Break is off the air, I'd love to see him back on TV. Answer: Oh, wouldn't Taye Diggs fit right into this show? (Too bad Ellen already coined "McYummy" for T.R. Knight. I can only imagine what nickname the Grey's writers would give this matinee idol.) Not to disparage the world of soaps, but we're in a different prime-time environment these days. TV and its audience have grown up a bit from a time when you could switch ... read more

Regarding the Grey's Anatomy ...

Question: Regarding the Grey's Anatomy controversy surrounding Isaiah Washington: I find his attitude and lack of sensitivity to be distressing and vile. His callousness and obvious lack of understanding are offensive, and he just makes himself look like a fool. It makes sense that ABC and Shonda Rhimes could be looking to remove him from the show. I would understand that and could support it. But here is my problem: Selfishly, I love the Burke character. I think he is fascinating, and Washington does a tremendous job portraying him. I think the show would take a real hit losing that character. I'm not saying it couldn't or wouldn't recover, but it would take a hit. At the same time, I am afraid that for a while it will be hard to separate Burke from my views of Isaiah Washington. We should be able to separate our personal views of actors from their characters, but the bottom line is that it is often very hard to do so (Example 1: Tom Cruise's demise at the box office). The ... read more

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