Isaiah Washington, the actor who served in the United States Air Force and attended Howard University that we know from movies such as; Crooklyn, Clockers, Dead Presidents, Girl 6, Love Jones, Bulworth, Out of Sight, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, and many others, has spent the past two years playing Cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Preston Xavier Burke on the hit ABC show, Grey’s Anatomy.
Isaiah Washington is an asset to the ensemble cast of Grey’s Anatomy, which earned him a 2007 NAACP Image Award. But, controversy struck when in October 2006, Isaiah used a derogatory epithet towards his co-star, T.R. Knight, calling him a “faggot” then when later, T.R. revealed publicly that he was gay, many people were angry with Isaiah. At that time, Isaiah issued a public statement, apologizing for his “unfortunate use of words”. Then, later at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards, in January 2007, Isaiah brought up the incident again, by stating, “No. I did not call T.R. a faggot”. ABC network executives reprimanded Isaiah who then agreed to go to counseling and issued a statement, “I can neither defend nor explain my behavior…I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I’ve asked for help.” Isaiah then checked himself into a residential treatment facility to undergo a psychological assessment for the use of the anti-gay slur.
However, even after both publicly apologizing and seeking professional help, on June 7, 2007, ABC announced that they will not renew Isaiah’s contract with Grey’s Anatomy and that he would be dropped from the show. After that announcement, Isaiah issued the following statement, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” As for Isaiah’s future plans, in another statement, Isaiah said that he plans to, “spend the summer pursuing charity work in Sierra Leone, work on an independent film and avoid worrying about the show.”