Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy
Question: Do you think people will boycott Grey's Anatomy because Isaiah Washington is still on the show? How do you think ABC and Shonda Rhimes handled the situation? It's a shame that this whole incident created such bad buzz for GA and damaged its reputation.
Answer: How exactly does "this whole incident" reflect badly on Grey's Anatomy? On the actor in question, yes, absolutely. But to hold his most regrettable and, yes, unforgivable outburst against the show itself would be absurd. It doesn't seem to me that ABC or Shonda Rhimes tried to deny the incident, so they handled it as well as can be expected. They expressed regret, kept their heads down and got back to work as best and as quickly as they could. No one's happy that it happened, least of all Isaiah Washington. Are you really asking if he should have been fired for making what by all accounts was a bigoted remark in the heat of an ill-advised temper tantrum? If actors were fired for being jerks on set or elsewhere, the pickings would be pretty slim. The real question boils down to a hypothetical: If another actor had thrown out the N-word the way Washington appears to have tossed the F-bomb (homophobic comments still being deemed more acceptable in this hypocritical society than racist slurs), would the uproar have been greater? No doubt. But Washington has apologized publicly, and he has been undeniably scarred and humiliated by the fallout. I can't imagine he doesn't regret it, and I suppose the next time he gives an actual interview he'll have to confront it. That should be interesting. Otherwise, the show goes on, as such things almost always do in this business. And while I might not personally want to break bread with the guy, it's not going to keep me from tuning in with enthusiasm on Thursdays. Most weeks, Grey's is still my favorite show.