Isaiah Washington by Jesse Grant/Wireimage.com
ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson says his counterpart at NBC,
, was either "clueless or stupid" in his remarks about hiring
for a role on
Silverman, in one of his first acts as the new cochairman of NBC's entertainment division, swooped up Washington for a six-episode stint on his network's new series after ABC decided not to keep the actor on
. ABC's decision was largely based on Washington's on-set use of a homophobic slur towards cast member
last October, which he repeated in front of the press at the
Golden Globe Awards
Silverman told reporters at his July 16 session with the Television Critics Association that he had begun talking with Washington "before he became available" and said he was shocked when ABC decided to let him go. "When he told me he was available I was like, 'You are? Wait, I don't understand. What do you mean? You're a huge star on a star television show.'" he said. "I don't quite understand what had gone on there."
McPherson told reporters Thursday after his TCA session that "if (Silverman) was in fact talking to him before he was available, that's inducement to breach. So I don't know, he's either clueless or stupid."
As to Silverman saying he didn't understand the circumstances surrounding the firing of Washington, McPherson said: "Was he living in a cave?" - Reporting by Stephen Battaglio