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Isaiah Washington Meets GLSEN and GLAAD

Actor Isaiah Washington, still under fire for the anti-gay slurs he made toward castmate T.R. Knight, met Monday with GLAAD president Neil Giuliano, and Kevin Jennings, founder and executive director of GLSEN.

IsaiahThe three reportedly discussed the possibility of an "ongoing partnership to combat prejudice and intolerance" directed at the gay and lesbian community, according to a press release issued by GLAAD.

Said Giuliano: "Isaiah understands that he is going to be judged by more than just his apology. He knows that his future actions – including the genuine first step that today's meeting represents – will demonstrate his sincerity in becoming part of the solution to anti-gay bigotry. We welcome the opportunity to work with him in the coming months to help improve the cultural climate faced by LGBT people across this country."

Jennings added, "GLSEN is thankful to ABC for arranging the meeting and hopeful that Isaiah Washington has come to a deeper understanding of the power of words, especially as we launch No Name-Calling Week in schools across the country. As a parent himself, Isaiah Washington seemed to particularly appreciate the impact these words have on young people in schools and expressed an interest in becoming an ally in GLSEN 's effort to educate young people about the negative impact of name-calling and bullying."

The two groups say they expect to meet again with Washington in the coming weeks to begin implementing their work together.

It is now ABC's turn to step up to the plate and demonstrate that they have zero tolerance for anti-gay bigotry by firing Washington.

According to Kristin Veitch from E!, the network may be considering such a step. Says Veitch: "I just received word from a highly placed source within the Touchstone/ABC family that ABC and Disney executives are currently considering the option of firing Isaiah Washington from Grey's Anatomy, effective immediately, without having him appear in any kind of farewell episode. According to this reliable source, if the network does follow through with this option, the producers are likely to run a full-screen announcement at the beginning of the first Burke-less episode that announces Isaiah Washington is no longer part of the show."

RELATED: CNN mocks The New York Times for refusing to print the F-word, host Glenn Beck calls it a "naughty name"...

Imho this whole episode has dragged out way too long. Let's hope there is some more definitive action from ABC soon.

You may have missed...
Isaiah Washington Fires Publicist as ABC Weighs Options [tr]
Isaiah Washington Apologizes for Anti-Gay Remarks [tr]
ABC issues Statement Regarding Isaiah Washington [tr]
ABC Must Fire Isaiah Washington Over Anti-gay Remarks [tr]

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Comments

  1. I'm so glad that our elected gay leaders are...oh wait, nevermind. How's this for an equitable arrangement: make him work with gay groups AND fire his ass. One punishment for each F drop. Seems fair enough?

    Posted by: burnssuit | Jan 23, 2007 9:31:52 AM


  2. Too little; too late. Fire him and show that unacceptable behaviour has consequences. I doubt it will happen becasue like any corporation, ABC/Disney will make an economic calculus and determine that the publicity outweighs the hostile work environment. The implict lesson: gays remain the last group that it is acceptable to denigrate.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 23, 2007 9:32:44 AM


  3. The campaign to have him fired is a perfect example of the generation gap that exists in the gay "community".

    Posted by: Mike Haddad | Jan 23, 2007 9:38:29 AM


  4. Well, since the gay mayors have announced he met with them and are working on the problem, all is well in this situation.

    Please. Damage control, damage control, damage control. When's the Diane Sawyer tour of contrition interview?

    Posted by: ray | Jan 23, 2007 9:41:25 AM


  5. Firing him for a first-time "offense" (isn't free speech --- even if derogatory -- protected by the 1st Amendment?) does not fit the "crime".

    He said something he now (seems to) regret saying.
    Judge him by his future actions (and speech).

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 23, 2007 9:44:28 AM


  6. Stephen, I'm not sure this IS his first offence. TV GUIDE writer Michael Ausiello says this in his blog on the TV GUIDE website: "Meanwhile, the word from the Grey's set is that Washington's problems extend far beyond his affinity for a certain derogatory f-word. Per a source, his behavior has been so "inappropriate and offensive" for so long that producers have often been forced to intervene."

    Posted by: phil | Jan 23, 2007 9:48:54 AM


  7. WHAT is taking ABC so long to fire this guy?
    Effin' wimps.
    K

    Posted by: kile | Jan 23, 2007 10:15:12 AM


  8. Speaking of the coverage, did anyone see imdb and their Movie and TV News coverage?

    They use, "F*****t" about three times in a FOUR line article. Then they mention it AGAIN in another story about the GLAAD awards.

    I'd say if someone is pretty excited about using 'f*****t" excessively.


    http://imdb.com/news/wenn/2007-01-23/#2
    http://imdb.com/news/wenn/2007-01-23/#5

    Posted by: Justin... | Jan 23, 2007 10:19:08 AM


  9. Washington is not wet behind the ears. This is an adult with enough professional experience in the business to know better. I assume the problems with Washington go much deeper than any "sensitivity training" will cure. This is bogus damage control and spin.

    I'm not advocating having him fired, but there does need to be some kind of punishment.

    And Stephen, free speech is protected by the constitution from government intervention. Free speech arguments have little merit in the private sector.

    Finally, I'm scratching my head over why the call to fire Washington has anything to do with a "generation gap" among gays. (Mike Haddad)

    I'm just ready for this to be over.

    Posted by: Mark M | Jan 23, 2007 10:26:07 AM


  10. Well, looks like GLAAD got whattheywanted, him fired, lets hope thier sense of justice swings both ways the next time something happens that is as earth shattering as this. Talk about much ado about nothing. Getting him fired from a show that the main culprits of the slur don't know about or watch, will do little to stop name calling. And, it also shows black gays, that Glaad will go after a jerky black guy, but, won't do a thing about a whote guy in black face doing racist comedy, talk about a bunch of hypocrites.

    Posted by: Greg | Jan 23, 2007 11:06:48 AM


  11. Mark, don't feed the fools. By the time I finish writing this he will probably have posted some drool about how "post gay" youngins don't care about mere words. That's not a generation gap, it's a gap between one's ears where his brain should be.

    And, although Washington offended twice, not once, and three times if you count, and I think one should, the denials, and while I had been all in favor of seeing his head on a platter, I think firing him now in the light of his agreements with GLSEN/GLAAD could backfire on us. Of course, if he doesn't follow through it would be too late. There is precedence for this with Bob Hope having paid for and recorded a gay-friendly PSA after yet another fag joke on the "Tonight Show" ages ago. But few stations still carried PSAs even then, so this campaign needs to be better thought out and long-running. Luv GLSEN—Kevin Jennings is no self-appointed "gay mayor," unlike the Solomneses and Reichens, but GLSEN's creator who has done more work to help gay kids than anyone else EVER [see article yesterday about GSAs]. GLAAD, on the other hand, is likely to try to use it mostly to milk further donations to simply perpetuate their impotent existence unless Giuliano is different than his predecessor—and, so far, the evidence is NOT good.

    In any case, I totally agree that Rhimes should be in the dock next.

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 23, 2007 11:10:31 AM


  12. Leave it to some old man to resort to personal attacks as a rebuttal. This has nothing to do with how I don't care about mere words. This is how a bunch of people have decided to be activists and interfere with someone else's career based on hearsay. You weren't there, you don't know what happened, and you still don't know what's happening. Sure, what he did was offensive. But I'm sure it was no less offensive than the things that spill out of any of your mouths while you're in a physical altercation with someone. And how are you to judge his apology inadequate? Have you personally spoken to him (or anyone else involved for that matter) about the events?

    Posted by: Mike Haddad | Jan 23, 2007 11:23:02 AM


  13. I'm so happy GLAAD got some face time. That's what they wanted. They really make me want to vomit.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 23, 2007 11:26:43 AM


  14. Mike H, Youth does not excuse stupidity. Hearsay is an evidentiary rule that prohibits admissibility of a statement reported by someone other than the speaker submitted to show the truth of the matter stated. Your use of the word fails on all counts. I am not "interfering with someone's career" you moron I am stating my opinion that ABC/Disney should enforce their own rules against an employee who flagrantly violated the terms of his contract by denograting a co-worker and creating a hostile environment. Moreover, I need not be there, the incident was corroborated by many who were present and implicitly admitted to by IW in his non-apologetic "apology". Furthermore, the derogatory term was not directed at the person with whom IS had a "physical altercation" and does not justify the use of offensive language in the workplace. You honor us by labeling us 'activists' for standing up for our community, even if we unintentionally defend idiotic members like you. As for you old man jibe, I for one wear it with pride. I have earned this grey hair and was cute when it counted but never stupid as are you.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 23, 2007 11:42:09 AM


  15. >>It is now ABC's turn to step up to the plate and demonstrate that they have zero tolerance for anti-gay bigotry by firing Washington.

    Huh? So the guy issues an apology and agrees to work with GLAAD and GLSEN and is taking the appropriate steps to atone for his acknowledged misdeeds...and the appropriate response to that is to fire him?

    This is starting to feel like a witchhunt to me.

    Posted by: LightningLad | Jan 23, 2007 11:51:19 AM


  16. If I personally made such a derogatory statement to one of my co-workers (let alone got physical with one of them), I would be gone TODAY. If you're opposed to firing the man, can you honestly say that you would retain your job if you initiated a physical altercation with one co-worker and referred to another as a "faggot?" The man may be on television, but he's an adult in the workplace. There's no excuse for that kind of juvenile behavior, especially when you represent the company you work for. He should know better.

    Posted by: burnssuit | Jan 23, 2007 12:14:23 PM


  17. I'm more dismayed at the CNN network permitting their hosts to ridicule this incident by diminishing the legitimacy of the use of faggot in this (or any) deragatory tirade. From what I have read and understand, Isaiah Washington is a hot head with a history of verbal and physical abuse towards his colleagues. I highly doubt at this stage in his life any sensitivity training will make any difference, and it seems a logical conclusion to assume Isaiah is now simply complacent in a panicked effort to keep him job. If ABC does want to make a social, political and just statement, they would stand behind their convictions and hand him his pink slip. Otherwise, not firing Isaiah Washington may send a message to the public that it's ok to continually and the gay community. R E S P E C T, that's all I ask.

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 23, 2007 12:19:29 PM


  18. >>If I personally made such a derogatory statement to one of my co-workers (let alone got physical with one of them), I would be gone TODAY.

    Different companies have different policies in terms of how they deal with harassment and troublesome behavior. Some HR departments may require an employee to take sensitivity training classes or diversity awareness classes after they've engaged in such behavior.

    ABC should do whatever is in line with their corporate policies - although those policies may also allow for them to take steps short of firing someone.

    I just think there is bloodthirstiness for Washington's head even after he has clearly apologized and taken steps to meet with gay and lesbian groups.

    Does anyone remember when Jesse Jackson was caught on tape referring to Jews as "Hymies" and to New York City as "Hymietown"? He apologized for that and acknowledged he said it out of ignorance and met with Jewish groups and people moved on. He's still considered an icon of the liberal left.

    Posted by: LightningLad | Jan 23, 2007 12:21:16 PM


  19. FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT...NOW THE PEOPLE WHO NEED PUBLICITY OR LIVES CAN FIRE ME....

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jan 23, 2007 12:21:40 PM


  20. Light... he was forced to apologize. He denied the original altercation even took place on Access Hollywood with Nancy O'dell and Billy Bush. ( i could not I would not BS).

    Where Billy had his head so far up Isaiah's ass he should join him in counseling.

    Posted by: m | Jan 23, 2007 12:23:11 PM


  21. The Declaration of Independance was signed in 1776, about 230 years ago. You're absolutely right, Andy; this has stretched out far too long.

    Posted by: timothy | Jan 23, 2007 12:25:40 PM


  22. Online petition for ABC to fire Washington.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 23, 2007 1:21:30 PM


  23. Days later, trees wasted, oxygen spent...

    ...and I'm reminded of the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me"

    Simply put he's and an asshole...yet another bad name.

    Posted by: mark | Jan 23, 2007 1:38:30 PM


  24. Here is the problem I have with this whole brouhaha:
    This thing is bubbling over on the SPECULATION that IW is a homophobe. I see the word faggot being used by the gay press (the new Qr magazine has an interview with an artist that calls HIMSELF a faggot!), gay bloggers (Perez Hilton) and the gay "community" at large all the time. Its the same argument as when Black folks get mad over a white person calling a person nigger. The WORD is inflammatory, but until the Black "community" stops using it, just how mad can they get at the white person? It's hypocritical. And I have never seen Towleroad address this gay hypocrisy. And not many of you have addressed it either. So how can WE burn Isaiah at the stake, when WE can't/won't get rid of the word ourselves?!

    If he had made a statement that he thought all gays were faggots or he hated gays, then I could see the lynch mob mentality.
    But the original incident was a private argument on a closed set between three adults. Words were exchanged in anger. Haven't you ever said anything in anger that you did not mean?! Was he talking about the whole gay population? If I had to reason it out, I would say no. He was just a pissed-off idiot saying hurtful things. I'm sure NOBODY here has EVER been in that position before. None of us were there and yet we are acting like we were. I believe that the WORD is a personal affront to gays, NOT Isaiah Washington. He uttered the word and needs to know that it is not right. Shonda should have taken the inititaive to make IW apologize to TR and Patrick, at which time TR could have told him how offensive that word is and what he wanted Shonda to do about it. The second time IW said it, he made a general statement and did not direct it at anybody. It still did not prove homophobia, jsut want a big mouth ignoramus he is. Speaking of which, nobody seems to have asked TR what HE wants to do about. And the word was directed at HIM!!! On Ellen, he seemed hurt and at a loss for words, but he did not seem to be out for IW's head. So if the victim isn't screaming for blood, why are we? Could it possibly be that since he was there, he has a better perspective and knows what the appropriate reaction should be? He can't be that stunned.

    I, for one, am sick of this story. It has been given way too much attention and "mouth foam" by Towleroad and both the gay and straight media. There are just too many issues that are more important and deserve more time than this nonsense.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 23, 2007 1:39:06 PM


  25. "I, for one, am sick of this story. It has been given way too much attention and "mouth foam" by Towleroad and both the gay and straight media. There are just too many issues that are more important and deserve more time than this nonsense."

    "WHAM!" Whack that nail on the head and drive it (this point home)! Thank you, SOULBROTHA.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 23, 2007 1:58:29 PM


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