ABC Must Fire Isaiah Washington Over Anti-gay Remarks

Calls are ringing out throughout the blogosphere for some kind of response from Washington and ABC. A petition has sprung up online in a bid to have ABC fire Washington for his ongoing slurs against gay people. (I wish someone would go in and correct the spelling in the petition but I suppose it’s the message that’s important.)

Washington_1In an interview with AfterElton, director and producer Paris Barclay gave his opinion about what should happen: “Here’s what needs to happen: ABC, from Steve McPherson [ABC President] on down, need to condemn this kind of hate-speak, and Isaiah needs to be fired. It’s just that simple. He needs to go. He’s a homophobe and a liar, and no matter how important he may appear to be, there has to be a line on what behavior is acceptable both on the set and when representing the show to the press.”

Meanwhile, GLAAD yesterday issued a statement calling for Washington to apologize and make amends, and announcing that they’re contacting Washington’s “people” to arrange a meeting with the actor.

Said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano: “When Isaiah Washington uses this kind of anti-gay slur — whether on set or in front of the press — it does more than create a hostile environment for his castmates and the crew of Grey’s Anatomy. It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm’s way. As Ellen pointed out in her discussion with T.R., this is a word that’s used to abuse kids on school playgrounds. We also know that, tragically, this sometimes can be the last word people hear before they’re attacked, beaten and possibly even killed. Washington’s repeated use of it on-set and in the media is simply inexcusable. We want to sit down with him and give him an opportunity to raise public awareness about the destructive impact of these kinds of anti-gay slurs. Over the past four months Washington has become part of a significant problem of anti-gay prejudice in this country. He has an opportunity now to be part of the solution.”

Unfortunately, the time for hand-holding and apologies has long passed.

Washington had his opportunity to make amends over the remarks, and instead he chose to lie.

Isaiah Washington needs to be fired from Grey’s Anatomy. It is past time for ABC to take action and show that they will not tolerate the use of hateful language towards gay people now, or at any point in the future.

The longer ABC waits to formulate a response to these incidents, the more they become complicit in what has occurred.

The background…
T.R. Knight Discusses Anti-gay slur on Ellen [tr]
T.R. Knight Confirms Details of Washington’s Homophobic Slur [tr]
Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl Scolds Washington for Slur [tr]
Isaiah Washington Still Obsessed with TR Knight [tr]
Grey’s Anatomy Actor T.R. Knight: “I’m Gay” [tr]
Tab: Isaiah Washington Used Gay Slur in Grey’s Anatomy Brawl [tr]

Comments

  1. gabe says

    There’s nothing I’d like to see more than see his ass fired but I don’t think he will. He’ll apologize, Shonda will apologize, ABC will apologize but Preston Burke will continue to work for Seattle Grace.

  2. Matt says

    Yeah, Mr. Washington makes nasty commments. But he won’t get fired. The “blogosphere” and the news media are giving ABC exactly what it wants, Publicity!!! This controversy will get people who usually don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy to tune in. I don’t watch the show and have actually tuned in once or twice since the controversy started. He won’t be fired. He will be forced to apologize. This is just like Mel Gibson and his anti-sematic comments. It genereated buzz for him and his movie Apocolipto. The producers are not going to sacrifice a hit show for a comment by a homophobe and the fact that the cast doesn’t get along. It is a cash cow for ABC. As I recall, the cast of Sex and the City didn’t get along so well and they continued the show.

  3. says

    There are two problems with this petition:

    First of all, no one is going to take anything with that many typos seriously.

    Second, there is no way to verify any of those names. Pen-and-paper petitions are effective (occasionally, anyway) because they have physical signatures attached to names and verifiable addresses. Internet petitions like this one could be signed repeatedly by the same person who can simply add the names and email addresses of their friends or family. There are a few names that show up twice in a row, likely because someone hit the “submit” button twice.

    If you want to take action, write a letter to ABC, telling them you won’t buy anything advertised on the show until Washington is fired. That hits them where they live.

    There’s an online form here:
    http://abc.go.com/site/contactus.html

    Snail mail:
    ABC, Inc.
    500 S. Buena Vista Street
    Burbank, CA 91521-4551

  4. MT says

    Your information string ‘The Background’ is REALLY helpful. I honestly didn’t know what sparked the fight even though I have been hearing about it. I swear your blog is by far the best place to catch up on gay issues. Thanks for always being so informative.

  5. Stephen says

    This type of slur, hurtful remark needs to be condemned by the corporate heads at ABC. Any incentives in Washington’s contract should be negated. Washington needs to make a public apology and confess that he is a liar. He should also seek counseling. But I don’t think he should be fired. The punishment outlined above fits the ‘crime,’ in my opinion.

  6. Stephen says

    James:

    The guy may feel it was a stupid, hurtful remark for which he now regrets (which it was) and he may be able to apologize and close the door on it, so to speak. I don’t know that and neither do you. All I am sayig is that IF he can’t close the door on this and not repeat it, then PERHAPS the guy should seek counseling.
    What is wrong with that?

  7. says

    He should be fired.

    If only because not doing so gives the impression that his presence on set and in the show is of more value than not only Knight’s but also his well-being and personhood.

    Maybe when pressed, Washington lied because he was afraid. I don’t know, we make bad judgement calls all the time. I’ll give him that benefit of the doubt, but when I make a bad judgement call, I deal with the undesireable aftermath. We all do, it’s called life.

    Furthermore, what example will this play out for others not only in the industry? In an era when an unprecedented number of popular actors are “coming out,” an isolating situation of this caliber, and subsequent abandonement by the home studio, could re-affirm fears from others considering coming out as well.

  8. James says

    Stephen,

    The whole counseling thing is beside the point. Everyone here can agree that Washington is a jerk, but his personal state of mind is between him and himself. Apologize and don’t use the word in public anymore (he can say faggot all he wants when he’s home). That’s all I want from the man. Everything else is just piling on and beside the point.

    peace

  9. says

    I don’t know if he should be fired. Maybe by this experience he will learn something, but if not, no skin off my back.

    What’s the consequences if he isn’t fired? Gay people are going to stop watching a good tv show that is employing an openly gay actor and a few hot men on it? I think not.

  10. miss dna says

    Gadzooks, haven’t these people heard of Spellcheck? Well, I’m all for putting the pressure on the appropriate parties. Perhaps not fire Mr. Washington, but he most definitely should apologize. A public service announcement would do quite nicely. When it comes to hate speech and/or bashing of any sort, I think the offender should appear on TV and apologize and we run it for a while like a commercial… “sponsored by Americans Against Hate”

  11. BeeDee says

    It just pisses me off how useless and irrelevant GLAAD has become. I can’t believe they pretend to represent the gay community to the entertainment industry. I want to see a copy of GLAAD’s letter to the producer of Grey’s Anatomy dated LAST OCTOBER!

    Instead their idea is to take a meeting with Washington’s people. Absolutely useless.

  12. BR says

    I’m a little confused. People seem to be saying that he repeated his slur against Knight at the Golden Globes. While its true that he repreated the “F-word”, he said it in the context of: “I never said that, I would never say such a repulsive thing.”

    Now, that’s obviously a total LIE; however, in that context, he wasn’t using the word to slur anyone. He obviously knows that its unacceptable, and he may even know that its hurtful and wrong. I really don’t think he meant any harm at the Golden Globes. I just think that it was an INCREDIBLY clumsy (and dishonest) attempt to convince people that he is not homophobic.

    I’m not saying Washington isn’t a total sh*t, or that his lying about this incident isn’t totally repulsive. Just confused about the charge of “ongoing slurs against gay people.” Maybe I missed something (I confess that I haven’t followed this too closely).

  13. Rad says

    I can’t say I ever watched Grey’s Anatomy. I have no idea who this person is or why it’s taking up so much of our time (like this whole “Rosie / Donald” crap).

    My feeling is: If you want to voice your opinion, turn off the television and stop feeding all this nonsense.

    “Dear [fill in the blank]. I have stopped watching your televion shows. My decision is based on a number of reasons:

    1) Your willingness to give promoters of hate-speak a forum
    2) Your incessant need to promote the worst in violent content for your advertising, whether it is a movie or video game release
    3) The absolute banal content of your televison productions and your productions that teach people that if they aspire to behave like the worst dregs of society, you may give them their own televison show.
    4) Your obnoxiously self-centered self-promotions touting ‘The most watched’, ‘Most trusted’, ‘Most [anything]’ that refers back to my third point
    5) The total lack of content you insist on cramming into a 24 hour schedule.
    6) Thinking that the general population craves televion shows about “real people” who don’t know how to speak without having a network sensor bleep something out. “Real people” whom I would never, in my worst nightmares, dream of even remotely socializing with.

    There are many more points, but those are the highlights. Good bye, [fill in the blank]. To recall the words of Edward R. Murrow; I wish you were a Medium, what I see is a new Low in what you consider ‘entertainment’.”

    Rad

  14. Reggie says

    Consider this… if Mr. Washington had been called “the N Word”, would he then be able to understand the hate nature of his use of “the F word”? Ironic isn’t it? This “N” calls this person an “F”, proving that in fact, he has no class, and is in fact nothing but an “N” in th etruest sense of the word. And before anyone gets upset about my referencing this word,..if his using this “F” word does not make him an homophobe, then my using the “N” word does not make me a racist. Fire the Bum! And to hell with counselling.

  15. jimmyboyo says

    People have to realize that Mr. Washington’s race makes this issue a lot more complicated. Many people will see this as ABC getting rid of a brother from a very succesful show. They will not see it as a reaction to homophobia. Especialy when many, and rightfuly so, complain that there are too few good roles being created for african americans in hollywood.

    ABC will not want to piss off a lot of african american viewers just to please a lot of gay viewers. ABC is caught between two rocks in a hard place.

  16. Ken says

    He should absolutely be fired. Everyone also seems to forget that he didn’t just yell epithets, he didn’t just lie, he assaulted a colleague? Too late for apologies, and I say a boycott of the show should be next–even die hard fans can always watch it later on dvd, after ABC notices a ratings plummet.

  17. Joseph says

    Ken is totally right. If this were any other major industry in the U.S. that has strict guidelines against harrassment, Washington would’ve been fired in October. That he hasn’t yet is quite insulting.

  18. Joe T. says

    For those this is important to: If you’re offended by him, just don’t watch the show. Write the network (and the sponsors, if you wish) why you won’t watch the show. (Personally, I don’t know how anybody could watch that dopey show anyway.)

  19. MikeinSanJose says

    1) Reggie makes a point (though many will not see it). And if whomever called Washington the ‘N’ word were to get up after the Golden Globes and say in an interview “I did not call him a ‘N’. Never did it. Didn’t happen.” then that would obviously add fuel to the fire. I personally am not offended by ‘faggot’, but I went through grade school with some VERY NASTY kids, so I’m used to hearing the word spoken by people who don’t have a clue.

    2) We’re talking about ABC here, you know, the ones who hired Glen Beck for Good Morning America. The ones who got Spocko’s blog taken down because Spocko posted audio clips of some of their conservative hate radio heads from KSFO radio in San Francisco. They WON’T take any sort of action on this.

    And if any political action is to be directed at ABC on this matter, be sure to include parent company Disney. You know Disney… the ones who make millions of dollars a year on Gay Day celebrations in Orlando and Anaheim. Yeah, THAT Disney.

  20. Leland says

    With, more or less, the exception of Bryce whose back skin we’ve never been concerned about, and Rad who seems to think the most important issue is not the increase in hate speech with impunity and its consequences but the poor state of TV programs, I’m very gratified to see the majority of people properly outraged by not just the original “crime” but the attempt to deny, and, more recently, mock it [as Heigl and others said, there was NO reason for him to repeat the word Monday night, and the fact that he did it in the context of claiming to “want to be gay” himself and that he and that the fellow [white] actor he assaulted “sing ‘Ebony & Ivory’ every night” sufficiently proves that to me].

    I am also happy to see that there is less race-baiting—in either direction—going on at least here, and applaud out, black writer/producer Barclay for publicly calling for Washington to be fired [we’ll discuss his own “NYPD Blue” sins another time].

    While I want to believe that the increased public/media attention will result in him being fired, I repeat that the fact that he wasn’t fired simply for the physical assault in October is not encouraging, given that he was hardly one of the star leads in the show—”McHotty” doesn’t refer to HIS violence-management issues. Again, put this in a “civilian” context, and set the homohate aside. Assuming none of us are the owner/top dog wherever we work, if we grabbed a fellow employee by the throat would WE still be working there?

    Second, ABC, while there remain exceptions such as the very positive gay character on “Brothers & Sisters,” is the network that stopped taking the high road relative to gay issues some time ago. With the help of a shamless but out gay producer—allowed Elizabeth Vargas to do a 2004 special in which she blamed Matthew Shepard for his own murder, and, knowing what a controversial program it should have been, refused to grant GLAAD’s request to see the program ahead of time [someone else snuck them a copy at the last minute]. There was very little protest because of that and because it was shown the night after Thanksgiving when relatively few, thankfully, saw it.

    We must NOT let this chain of events permeated with homohatred simply fade away.

  21. says

    washington should have to appear on The View to explain himself… that might be punishment enough.
    as for ABC’s nervousness to lose a valuable african-american role, why not replace him with another actor… it’s not as if they have to kill off his character. afterall, Bewitched had two Darrins.

  22. soulbrotha says

    Reggie,

    So according to your “logic” a Black homophobe is a nigger. And a White gay racist is a what? Faggot? WTF? Exactly what is “the truest sense of the word”? Please tell me, because as a Black man I would like to know about the nature of a word that has been used against my people all my life!
    Sorry but your argument is asinine and you’re an ass.

  23. Anon says

    Unless the show’s fanbase of young women write in to have him fired they won’t do anything. One thing that hasn’t been clear is exactly what lead up to all the trouble to begin with. Why was IW so angry in the first place? What is going on there? This may be key because IW may have cause to sue if fired. Others may have threatened to quit if he is fired, etc. It could derail the whole show. Likewise, TR may have indicated he doesn’t want IW fired–a generally wise career move. This whole thing may discourage other actors from coming out too, as in “Come out and your TV Show will go off the air!” He could end up being blamed for the whole thing (life is not fair in Tinseltown).

  24. Brian says

    Washington physically assaulted a colleague and then made bigoted accusations about another colleague in the workplace, all of which ended up in the newspapers and casting a poor light on this otherwise quite good production. His actions continue to make it very difficult for his colleagues to focus on their professional responsibilities. Furthermore, he followed these offensive actions by continuing to behave in a boorish, dishonest, and hateful manner while representing the show at a highly visible media event. Regardless of what word he used, he deserves to be fired because he has behaved in an abominably unprofessional manner that shows great disrespect for his job, the viewers, his colleagues, and his profession in general.

    Fire the asshole already, and replace him with a new character played by an actor who appreciates this huge professional opportunity.

  25. Johnny says

    Isaiah Washington’s behavior at the Golden Globes is what has elevated the situation to the level of his needing to be fired.

    Whatever happened back in October, it was an “in-house” issue and was handled as such, for the most part. Thus, it wasn’t necessary to fire the man back then.

    But now that he has lied about his behavior, mocked it (“please let me be gay”), and used the word “faggot” publicly – the issue has become undeniably public and in fact has an effect on all gay people.

    I can’t imagine that TR Knight went on the Ellen show without permission from the higher ups at Grey’s and ABC, which leads me to believe that Mr. Washington will suffer some ramifications… Perhaps I’m being naive…

  26. Thor says

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with this one. If people start getting fired over saying one word in what they thought was private, that’s a bad precedent to my mind.

  27. CURIOUS says

    It’s interesting to see how many people (including here in this very thread) will say “N” or “The N Word” but have no problem throwing around the word “Faggot”. Why is that not “F” or “The F Word”.

    Both words are simultaneously harmless & hateful. They are, after all, just a collection of letters on a page (or on screen) — but they BOTH represent something terribly wrong & hateful.

    All i’m saying is, if you’re gonna use one, you gotta be able to use the other.

  28. Marco says

    Why Isiah insists on digging himself deeper into a hole is beyond me. I don’t think he can be fired for lying about the incident the cast and crew have already verified, but why he does it befuddles me.

    I was fine with his apology to his cast a few months ago. Now, I honestly don’t know.

  29. patrick nyc says

    “I’m afraid I can’t agree with this one. If people start getting fired over saying one word in what they thought was private, that’s a bad precedent to my mind.” – THOR

    He did not say it in private, but in the work place among serval people, not to mention his assult on Dempsy. Plus he repeated the word, then denied the whole insident, on national TV.

    Agree or not, the bottom line is the dollar. ABC will not be happy as long as this is the news, and not the show. I for one am glad it is still going, three days after the fact. Good riddance to an asshole.

  30. woodroad34 says

    I find it curious that if e-mails, jokes, or open discussions that slander a particular minority (no matter how harmless or ineffectual) can get an employee fired from a corporation, Washington can continue on in his position. Most corporations have stated workplace rules about intimidating work environments. Honestly! As a black man, Washington has breached so many of these (that were set up to protect blacks, frankly)that he needs to be fired, he needs to be censured, and he needs to be counseled. What a stupid, talentless hack. And, BTW, ABC is showing its true colors more frequently: http://mediamatters.org/columns/200701160012
    Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty can’t paint them a prettier picture. Frankly, I would like to see Mark Cherry or any of the other shows with gay characters on ABC speak up about this. Thank God for Katherine Heigle

  31. Jeff says

    This is the comment I posted when I signed the petition. And yes, BRAVA to Katherine Heigel!

    Ms. Rhimes should not think of this as replacing one black actor with another; Washington’s character should be written off the show. It doesn’t matter if he is replaced by a white, black, green, or purple actor or actress. He should be fired because he is a mean-spirited, callous, and low-class person whose demeanor suggests that he believes himself to be above it all and better than everyone else. I now despise the character of Preston Burke only because I detest looking at Mr. Washington. I cannot turn off the fact that he is a despicable person and I loathe watching him at all. It is the same way with Mel Gibson and his spewing of similar hatred; I will not watch anything he is associated with. Where I once enjoyed him, I can no longer involve myself in being a part of anything he does. My entire family and I consider Grey’s Anatomy to be a favorite program; but we are not sure how long we will subject ourselves to viewing Washington on a regular basis.

  32. Perspective says

    Although I don’t like being called a faggot, it’s not the end of the world. The schoolyard references here are ironically appropriate; only little boys cry about being called names. Real men stand up, calmly point out that name calling is the province of children, and move on. This is a teachable moment for those harboring stereotypes of us gays as limp-wristed cry babies.

  33. Johnny says

    Perspective –

    So by your logic, women should just suck it up if they’re called whores or bitches in the workplace? Or Jews if they’re called “typical cheap Jew”? Or blacks, or Latinos or any other group?

    Give me a break. This is not politically correct overreaction. It’s about homophobia, deceit, and workplace appropriate behavior.

  34. Thor says

    (shouldn’t have said anything…)

    I honestly don’t know. I don’t know who’s right. I will say that Washington was wrong to lie about it; that’s always stupid, especially if the co-star you’re lying about has an appearance on a popular talk show within the next few days and a fairly large and vocal fan base. And in case anyone’s wondering, I’m totally on Knight’s side, here. I don’t know if firing Washington over this exactly is right, but it probably constitutes workplace sexual harassment, which is a fireable offense.

    Johnny – Perspective isn’t saying suck it up. I hate that, too. He’s saying that rather than going nuts and holding rallies in the streets, we should calmly show them the error of their ways. “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, you know.

  35. Johnny says

    Thor –

    I hear ya, but it was the phrase “and move on” in Perspective’s comment that bothered me. It seems to dismiss any consequences for Washington, which I can’t agree with at this point.

  36. peterparker says

    Brian…my sentiments exactly (and nicely written)!

    Thor…Washington did not say the word ‘faggot’ in private, he hurled them at a colleague in the workplace…just before or after physically assaulting another colleague.

    Curious…I find it interesting, and profoundly silly, that when reporting on another person’s use of an offensive term, we feel the need to say “S/He used the ‘N’ word” or “S/He usd the ‘F’ word”…as opposed to simply saying “S/He used the word ‘nigger” or “S/He used the word ‘fuck’/’faggot'”. I think saying ‘the F-word’ and ‘the N-word’ actually gives those hateful terms more power than they deserve.

  37. Chris says

    If the man had just admitted he said it, and apologized, I dont think anybody would be talking about this anymore. A lot of people say things in the heat of the moment that they don’t mean or dont believe. Its the fact that the went out of his way to grab the microphone in the press room and flat out lie about something that everybody knows he said, and then continue to deny it afterwards that is upsetting. I was so glad to see Katherine and TR talking about this after the fact, I hope the two of them stand strong and fight for what they believe in. Rosie and the girls on the View will be discussing this tomorrow.

  38. MikeinSanJose says

    Sillier still is the fact that some people have no problem using either of those words within a certain social group or situation, even using it themselves, but those same folks will find it absolutely outrageous, insulting and offensive when either of those words is used by someone of a different social group.

    If these words are ‘BAD’ (whatever that means) then they shouldn’t be used by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Enough of the double-standards.

    Then again, words only have the power that we ascribe to them. If ‘we’ choose to be victims to words, it’s not the words’ fault any more than it is the fault of the person who used a word that makes you feel weak or under-valued.

  39. 000000 says

    Washington absolutely deserves an equal consequence to his actions. That being said, where the fuck is GLAAD when Shirley Q. Liquor uses the gay community to get racist opinions off his chest?

  40. anon says

    Hollywood insiders would look at our arguments and think we are nuts. With all the bad, boorish, mean-spirited and selfish behavior that passes for normal in H-Town, what IW did was no big deal. People in power there treat others like dirt and make a big deal about it. Personal “assistants” do the most demeaning chores. Actors have to sleep their way into parts. I could imagine a lot of resentment building up against gay producers by str8 actors after all the times they get propositioned. Remember that celebs get away with murder in LA. We sound like a bunch of Yahoos over this.

  41. Da says

    I love the passionate way you guys are feeling about it, it’s making me think!! I notice there’s been a shift in the way gays respond to their kind being attacked lately, with Rosie, and now TR. It wasn’t to this extent before and I’m glad.

    Personally, I don’t know what to think over it to be honest. I’m wondering if Isaiah getting fired will move the sympathy towards him instead, which isn’t what we want. And I’m pondering if there isnt an opportunity for teaching here? or maybe the lesson must be made out of *him* to show other Hollywood bigots that the gays cannot be treated like crap in the industry anymore. Cause they do from a business standpoint, and it has got to STOP!

  42. rudy says

    It is not about misplaced or even properly placed sympathy. It is about the consequences of actions. IW denegrated a fellow worker with a homophobic slur in the workplace, issued a non-apology apology, compounded his offenses by repeating the slur and then lying about uttering it, made it worse by further denegrating gay men with his public comments at a work related event and yet some are asking us (gay men) who were slurred by inference to “put it behind us” or “move on” or settle for his receiving couseling, when it is the perpetrator who should be punished. Suck it up. Real men take responsibility for their actions. Corporations (including those in the entertainment industy) should also be required to take responsibility for the actions of their employees. If the slur were an ehtnic or racial slur there would not have been a discussion or a delay. We should demand that the same standard be applied to homophobis rants regardless of subjective intent on the part of the speaker. True, IW has revealed himself to be a homophobic liar but that is insufficient. He should be called to account and suffer the appropriate punishment.

  43. Mike says

    Bravo Jeff and Rudy. Those who think nothing should be done are frankly part of the problem. Grow some already and stand up for yourself, no one else will do it for you.

  44. says

    Hey, Reggie, if you’re gonna call me a “nigger” than spell it out. Don’t act like you’re somehow being less of an ass by saying “N”, you’re just being a punk to boot. Maybe when gay people stop acting like black people are somehow obligated to be tolerant of them, black people would’nt feel so alienated. And if you say, “So, that means gays arent obligated to be non-racist, right?” I say yes. But you have to be accepting of other races beacuse:

    1. It’s the right thing. Duh.

    2. Obviously all those gay magazines and “Queer As Folk” has gotten to some of your heads. Because you seem to think gays are only white, young, urban, white,thin, attractive a.k.a white, and well off. Well, guees what? There are more black people in the gay community than there are gay people in the black community. In other words, the black community can afford to ignore its gay members. The gay community can’t blow off its black members,or hispanic and asian for that matter. You guys need as much unity as you can get.

    3. The black community by and large, is very religous. You can’t expect them to just accecpt and understand you when you don’t seem all that interested in accepting and understanding their culture. Most black people think gays are just rich white people(cuz thats the media image that gets out most), not the kind of people who should be complaining about civil rights. Reach out to “regular” black folks, the MIGHT reach out more to you.

    3. I hear this same tired “If someone called Issiah a n*gger, he woulda got fired.” Yes. Racism is seen as MUCH mor damaging than homophobia. Instead of bitching about it, do something about it. Something that doesnt include bringing up n*gger or any other slur. Black people arent the ones fighting for equality, gay people are. Black people already won their equality(kinda). If you guys are seen as not inclusive, you are never gonna get equality. And what about hispanics? The largest minority in the nation and still rapidly growing, they are as if not more religous nad opposed to homosexuality than blacks. You gonna call sp*c when a hispanic says something homophobic? Racial minorities have more clout than sexual minorities, accept it and reach out.

    Look at me for example. I’m black, a big supporter of gay rights, and disgusted by Issiah Washington. But I’m not gay. This doesnt affect me quite as much. So, when I see the racist comments I’ve seen on this and other blogs….it pisses me off, it makes me believe I shouldnt waste my time worrying about the rights and feelings of people who see me and people who look like me as “n*ggers” when something goes wrong. It brings out that knee jerk reaction that everybody has to support “their own”, to think “Fuck these racist f@ggots, I hope Issiah gets off,” and support my fellow black man. Maybe that’s how Shonda Rimes feels. Some people, trolls or not, are making it harder and harder for me to see past Issiah’s race and look only at his behavior, since they can’t do the same. I bet I’m not the only black person who feels that way and thats not good news for gay people. You need our support much more than we need yours. And to a lot of people, you’re gonna have to work for it, because, frankly, we don’t owe you shit.

  45. Jon says

    “Look at me for example. I’m black, a big supporter of gay rights, and disgusted by Issiah Washington. But I’m not gay. ”

    So you’re a big supporter of gay rights, yet your position against someone who repeatedly hurts and lashes out at a co-star who did nothing to him is affected because of trolls on a message board?

    Seriously?

    I have been called “faggot” and “cocksucker” by some black people from the time I was in school to present day. I’ve seen some of my friends beaten up. Others were just harassed day after day.

    Does that mean I hold this against all black people and oppose things like affirmative action, or the fight for civil rights?

    No.

    I don’t judge an entire group of people by trolls on a message board.

    “I bet I’m not the only black person who feels that way and thats not good news for gay people.”

    If it’s that easy for you to turn against TR Knight, who has done absolutely nothing in this situation, then what in the world are we supposed to say? Are we supposed to promise that no trolls will ever inhabit this board? Are we supposed to say that no gay person in the world will ever make a racist statement?

    I’m so sick of the idea that gays are a monolith and that if one of them does or says something wrong, then we must all be damned.

  46. says

    “So you’re a big supporter of gay rights, yet your position against someone who repeatedly hurts and lashes out at a co-star who did nothing to him is affected because of trolls on a message board?”

    Not affected, I still think Issiah should be fired. But did the trolls and the clueless people who sound like trolls even if they don’t see it trigger a response in me that I think is pretty human to side with your own when you feel they are under attack, especially unfairly under attack(for his race not his remarks), yeah they’re getting to me. If you think I should get tougher skin if I let these idiots get to me…tell T.R. Knight to get tougher skin, too.

    “If it’s that easy for you to turn against TR Knight, who has done absolutely nothing in this situation, then what in the world are we supposed to say?”

    When did I say anything bad about T.R. Knight? He seems like a great guy, and I feel for him. He did nothing wrong.

    “I’m so sick of the idea that gays are a monolith and that if one of them does or says something wrong, then we must all be damned.”

    Replace “gays” with “blacks” in that statement and you took the words right out of my mouth. =)

  47. Jeff says

    Come on — nobody cares who watches this show. The only thing they care about is that they can sell advertising time on it. GLAAD should be lobbying the Ad agencies and their clients that buy the ad space, letting them know that their association with a media outlet that enables public expression of bigotry and discrimination is a bad investment and very bad for THEIR business.

  48. says

    We at Disparaging Terms are not happy with Isaiah Washington’s use of the Disparaging Term Faggot. While unpleased with him, we ARE NOT calling for his Termination from the show. We recognize that a simple apology is not enough, so we recommend that he take the Disparaging Terms Pledge at http://www.disparagingterms.com/dpledge.html and that he undergo sensitivity/social awareness training.

    Disparaging Terms.Com

  49. lj says

    washington has to go and go now. I still do not shop at Macy’s for them not retracting the removed window displayin Boston and never will again. I will use their restrooms all over the country if i need to. I will not watch Greys anatomy. I found the producers nervous laughter a subconcious attempt to minimize the effects that gay people feel regarding his remarks. The nerve and the gaul coming out of the mouth of an african american. We have alway been in the streets supporting and advocating african american equality. Isaiah Washington obviously has achieved much to much success too fast through luck to appreciate his audience. Goodbye Isaiah Washington. Get lost. You are forgiven but you lose your job. People sit in jail for less than what you did.

  50. Tiffany says

    I am so sick of these double standards, and I agree with you. For instance, i am a Christian. I love everyone the same, and I would never degrade someone, but I believe being gay is a sin. I have gay friends, I don’t insult them but they know how I feel and I leave it at that. Although i don’t degrade or insult people, they still find a way to insult me and all Christians and I am sick of it. Like the GD word for instance, what is that? They say it all of the time, yet Isaiah says the F word and he could lose his job? Michel Richards can’t perform at the laugh factory anymore? What is the world coming to when being a Christian is looked down upon more than being Gay?

  51. Jake says

    ABC Just write Washington out of the script. Your viewers are no longer interested in seeing him or Dr. Burke. Give TR Knight a stronger roll and give some other fine black actor the spot light. It’s time for a change. Let’s end the season on a pleasant note.

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