Gay Slurs | Isaiah Washington | News | T.R. Knight | Television

Grey's Anatomy's Katherine Heigl Scolds Washington for Slur

Its "Best Drama" award may have been entirely appropriate.

Whatever the truth is about what happened on the Grey's Anatomy set last October, these Access Hollywood interviews with Katherine Heigl and Isaiah Washington reveal that there's still plenty of discomfort with the situation on that production.

Following Washington's Golden Globe red carpet statements I posted about earlier, he was asked about the validity of the incident involving T.R. Knight in the GG press room.

Washington responded: "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never happened, never happened."

Heigl_1Later, visibly disturbed Grey's co-star Katherine Heigl was asked about his response by Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson. Said Heigl: "I am not okay with it."

Heigl then added: "I'm going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period. I'm sorry, that did not need to be said, I'm not okay with it...I have no idea what it was, I just find it hurtful…I just feel like this is something that should be very much in house we need to deal with and it's among us and the cast and crew and among Shonda [Rimes, show creator] and the producers. I don't think [Washington] means it the way he comes off…But, T.R. is my best friend. I will throw down for that kid. I will beat you up. I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings...I don't see how [T.R.] could not be [hurt] under those circumstances. Drawing attention to it and saying the word again is just unnecessary."

WashingtonWashington remains vehement that the on-set incident was completely fabricated by the press and goes on to defend himself to Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell:

"There is no way I could do anything so vile, and so horrible, not only to a castmate, but to a fellow human being. It's the truth. It did not happen. I was going to hire some other great shiny publicist, but you know what, God laid it on my heart to say it because it was so close. The reports were all wrong. It did not happen. I'm very disappointed that the New York Post actually wrote legitimately about something that was put in a tabloid about some angry person to get some validity to this, and then it just rippled."

Washington also insists that he and actor Patrick Dempsey are the best of friends: "I kiss Patrick Dempsey. We sing 'Ebony and Ivory' everyday since the so-called incident and it hasn't come up. We purposely sing 'Ebony and Ivory' every night since October 9 and nobody has written about it."

Katherine Heigl Lashes Out At Co-Star Over Homophobic Slur [access hollywood interview]

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  1. "Why is it that gay men are so rarely willing to support each other?"

    Simple. Gay men aren't JUST gay. Many owe solidarity to many different groups including blacks, conservatives, and the traditionally religious, so it shouldn't surprise that some gay men will choose and defend some else who they believe deserves more defense.

    I understand this because in a way, I'm damn near ready to defend Washington. I don't understand where he's coming from. He portrayed such an understanding character in Spike Lee's "Get on the Bus". His behavior is simply weird, but I'm trying to take things slow judging him because for all I know he's had some bad experiences. (Shrug) Don't ask me what kind but let me offer myself as an example.

    About a couple of years back, near fresh out the closet and ready to hangout at the clubs and drive over to Montrose (Houston's gay ghetto)and party but turns out since I was 18, I couldn't get into one of the bars. I understood and started back to my cars but suddenly I recognized guys from my highschool, a group who I knew (I worked my journalism dept like crazy) were my age and/or a year younger. And they all got in without a sign of protest. They were all white. Another black guy comes up (clearly late 20s) and he gets carded. I didn't know what to do since I'm not the activist type so I just walked back to my car to find that it was towed off...with my phone.

    So I stood until a group of guys began to walk pass, as I started to ask them for a phone, one of them yells "Got any drugs? I want some!" The group roars with laughter and continues to walk along. Now the distinction was clear. Being black on the side of the road gave this all white group the impression that obviously I was drug dealer. To save us sometime, that wasn't the last racist experience I had that night. To this day I wonder if I just made it all up. Never in my life had I experienced such racism and I thought I was among friends.

    Sorry for the long story (it could have been longer but I really don't want to relive it cause it gets worst) but to sum it up, since then I'm I'm insecure around gay white men (not straight white men mind you) but gay white men. I feel such feelings sometimes that I wish I didn't feel and I know that their not right but I just can't help it.

    I guess this is why I'm not so fast to chop of his head because certain experiences can really bring out the worst in you sometimes. Especially when it comes to the matter of race and sexual orientation which I doubt Washington is no newcomer to.

    Posted by: D-2 | Jan 17, 2007 12:00:01 AM


  2. ...Jon, man you can do whatever you want to...i just posted my own opinion, not meant to suggest that everyone who is gay has to agree with it...if you want to feel sorry for T.R. Knight go right ahead, you certainly don't need anyone's permission...and Turd your name is appropriate for someone that sounds so full of...well, you know...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Jan 17, 2007 12:13:47 AM


  3. "Why is it that gay men are so rarely willing to support each other?"

    Because this is America (no one gets out alive)there are no children here(...no fats, fems, asians or blacks - not a prejudice just a preference...)


    Posted by: Giovanni | Jan 17, 2007 12:18:44 AM


  4. "Simple. Gay men aren't JUST gay. Many owe solidarity to many different groups including blacks, conservatives, and the traditionally religious, so it shouldn't surprise that some gay men will choose and defend some else who they believe deserves more defense."

    So when a gay man who has done nothing but try to do his job is called a "faggot" on set and again at a press conference, we're not supposed to defend him? TR himself said that being gay was the least interesting part of him. He isn't trying to make this all about him being gay. His homosexuality was used TWICE as a weapon against him, and no one - not the press, not ABC, not the show's creator - has bothered to really stand up for him. Today, Katherine Heigl did, and some people here immediately said that she should keep quiet and she's no better than Isaiah Washington. Or they said that there's a white drag queen who pretends to be a black woman, so this implied white gays are bad people.

    D-2, I'm sorry that you had to go through that experience. But no one is saying all white gays are saints. What I'm saying is I think it's wrong to justify Isaiah Washington's homophobia because TR Knight is a white gay man. What has TR Knight ever done to deserve that type of scorn?

    Gay men are always so willing and eager to attack each other. Any time a gay man comes out, he's belittled and insulted by other gay men. A gay man has to hear his own kind constantly insult his life, his appearance, his talent, everything. I don't expect gay men to sing kumbaya, but why do we always have to tear each other down?

    TR will be on Ellen tomorrow, and he confirms Isaiah called him a faggot.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070117/ap_en_tv/people_heigl_washington

    Posted by: Jon | Jan 17, 2007 12:39:38 AM


  5. Kudos to Katherine Heigl; but otherwise- Greys Anatomy has to be the dumbest most unbearable show on TV. I wouldn't trust that hospital staff to put a bandaid on a finger. (And how believable is a hospital staff without one Jew, Japanese or Hindu..?) And then all that "deep" talkity talk at the end, and the "oh so cool" music. Totally dorky.

    Posted by: Joe T. | Jan 17, 2007 1:04:37 AM


  6. "What I'm saying is I think it's wrong to justify Isaiah Washington's homophobia because TR Knight is a white gay man."

    I don't think that has been anyones intent - most of us are in agreement that Washington is an obnoxious jerk but things start to get tricky and bells start to ring when it is hypocritically (though sometimes innocently) implied that he is somehow more of a jerk than your garden variety 'phobe because he is black aka known the whodoesthatniggerthinkheiscallingthatmanafag offense or the n bomb.

    For the record I think Heigl rocks as well and Rhimes, who also rocks imo, should take public steps to right the wronged TR Knight.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Jan 17, 2007 1:35:21 AM


  7. "D-2, I'm sorry that you had to go through that experience. But no one is saying all white gays are saints. What I'm saying is I think it's wrong to justify Isaiah Washington's homophobia because TR Knight is a white gay man. What has TR Knight ever done to deserve that type of scorn?"

    Jon, I'm not necessarily defending Washington and I wasn't trying to justify Washington's slur and behavior based on Knight. Its a shame about the cover up and I'm not even saying Washington doesn't deserve to be thrown off the show. What I am saying is that for some reason I just not as hungry for his blood as every body else seems to be because I know there's been times where I've been so angry at the gay community, I was ready to seek out something to turn me straight (I'm not kidding). I guess I'm just ranting and letting loose old feelings maybe. But I do think they some how relate to this issue.

    Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't support Knight. Hell, maybe my "defense" of Washington is based from some inner Freudian gay loathing issue that derives from my mother. lol.

    Posted by: D-2 | Jan 17, 2007 2:03:23 AM


  8. ...p.s. Jon, to attempt to clarify the mention of Shirley Q Liquor...i don't think it was meant to indicate that white gays are bad people and therefore it's fine that T.R. Knight was treated badly...but instead to point out that if a Black person makes a gay slur the issue of race is brought up straight away, otherwise it seems to be the last subject the white gay community at large wants to discuss or concern themselves with on any other level...For example, Ms. Heigl generated many responces from those who lauded her forthrightness in sticking up for her friend Knight, while I think Andy's post on MLK generated what...six responces? Not that anyone has to be upset or outraged about that, but perhaps that's some indication of the piority of interest by anglo gays in what type of things Black men have to say...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Jan 17, 2007 2:15:01 AM


  9. what a creepy jerk: fire his ass or lots of us wont watch that show anymore: so so uncouth and rude. and with passion he says such bullshit. oy oy
    he i career will face with that megomania.

    Posted by: jamielou | Jan 17, 2007 3:17:22 AM


  10. D-2, believe me, I can understand the problems that we (gay men) can go through with accepting ourselves. I really don't mean to trivialize the racism you had to face. I just want to point out that, beyond the gay issue, Isaiah Washington has had other problems on sets. He supposedly had a problem on High Incident, as well as on Soul Food. The TR Knight/Patrick Dempsey incident was just what blew up in the media.

    "...p.s. Jon, to attempt to clarify the mention of Shirley Q Liquor...i don't think it was meant to indicate that white gays are bad people and therefore it's fine that T.R. Knight was treated badly...but instead to point out that if a Black person makes a gay slur the issue of race is brought up straight away,"

    That may be true, but in this case, one of Washington's defenders was one of the first people to bring up his race. Shonda Rhimes said she was upset at the rumors he would be replaced with another black actor, because you can't just replace a black actor, that's insulting. I thought her comments were very strange (the character is black, so he would be replaced with another black actor - no one was saying black actors are disposable or interchangeable) and served as nothing more than an attempt to paint people as racist if they criticized Washington.

    I certainly agree that some white gay men are racist, although I think that both sides are to blame for the problems between black people and white gays. But TR Knight didn't really have anything to do with that. He isn't a racist, as far as anyone knows. Washington's race has been used repeatedly to try to give him more of a pass for his homophobic and strange behavior, and I think that's unfair.

    This is a really big one. I don't know much about TR Knight. All I know is he was pushed into the middle of this. There is a very good chance that he is the one who will get the scorn from the network and from the producers, and he will face the fallout. This is the first time that a semi-major actor on a big hit TV series has come out. If he is forced off the show or turned into the scapegoat, then that is going to have a chilling effect not only on his career, but on the careers of any other gay actors in TV. It will make even more gays and lesbians decide to stay in the closet.

    I know there's nothing that we personally can do, but I think we can at least support him, write ABC about this matter, write GLAAD and ask them if they're doing anything with this matter. I mean this is just ugly stuff, and it has the danger of spinning wildly out of control.

    Posted by: Jon | Jan 17, 2007 3:24:15 AM


  11. What is great about her not only standing up is that she brought the issue to a head. Ms. Rimes best wake up make his hand go numb and out the door.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jan 17, 2007 8:51:22 AM


  12. I think that bringing up the word "nigger" in this instance is totally appropriate, not as evidence that Washington is more of a jerk because he is black. That has nothing to do with it.

    It should be brought up because if someone HAD called Washington a "nigger," the media explosion would have been 1000 times more intense than the little coverage this incident received at first. The only reason it is getting coverage now is because Washington is digging himself a bigger hole.

    I've said this before---we either have to allow the liberal use of ALL slurs, or we have to make the use of "faggot" as offensive as the use of "spic" and "nigger."

    Posted by: jmg | Jan 17, 2007 9:52:54 AM


  13. I don't understand this.

    Andy can post a story about bread crumbs and some of you will still reach for a way to subvert the conversation into a racial one.

    Posted by: Derrick | Jan 17, 2007 10:30:49 AM


  14. I think TPTB should make the I. Washington character gay. That would teach him a lesson, and if he doesn't want to kiss another man then he can be kicked off

    Posted by: toratcitsym | Jan 17, 2007 12:12:38 PM


  15. I wonder if it would be possible to take down the reference to Washington and Rhimes as Orangutangs and Apes it seems an incredibly (and equally) offensive post to just let sit, all things considered.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Jan 17, 2007 12:36:34 PM


  16. “For example, Ms. Heigl generated many responces from those who lauded her forthrightness in sticking up for her friend Knight, while I think Andy's post on MLK generated what...six responces?”

    It’s not just MLK, it’s any historical figure. And it’s not just gay people that have little to say about historical figures either, it’s everyone. Posts of Harvey Milk, Andy Warhol, or Oscar Wilde etc generate less comments than the eye candy posts. It’s like that everywhere too.

    “Not that anyone has to be upset or outraged about that, but perhaps that's some indication of the piority of interest by anglo gays in what type of things Black men have to say...”

    Not all white people are Anglos. Anglos are people of British Ancestry. It would be like calling all Latinos, Mexicans.

    JON, everything you said I agree with.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 17, 2007 1:13:52 PM


  17. I am black and I wish he would of dropped the "N" bomb. but i guess that would of been him stepping down to his level. Now he should just burn his trailor.

    Posted by: Pleasethink | Jan 17, 2007 4:04:08 PM


  18. http://www.petitiononline.com/at343sh7/petition.html

    sign for getting IW fired.

    Posted by: babe1973 | Jan 19, 2007 9:49:46 PM


  19. QUIT MILKING IT T.R...... iS T.R. SHORT FOR "TOTALLY RIDICULOUS"....??

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jan 21, 2007 1:42:53 PM


  20. Isiah is an ass and thats understood..but if you continue to play victim for "months"
    one has to wonder what kind of person you are....you said Ellen coming out made a big difference in your life 10 years ago so I wonder why weren't you out ten years ago then..??

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jan 21, 2007 1:46:13 PM


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