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

T.R. Knight Confirms Details of Washington's Homophobic Slur


Towleroad has received a partial transcript of T.R. Knight's appearance on today's Ellen DeGeneres Show. Knight reportedly confirms details of the October on-set incident between Grey's Anatomy co-stars Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington. Knight claims that Washington (who denies the feud ever took place, much less the slur) did, indeed, use the F-word:

Trknight"He referred to me as a faggot...Everyone heard it."

Knight said it became important for him to make a statement after details of the feud blew up in the press, and that he looked to Ellen's and other celebrities' coming out experiences for strength.

"I was under no delusions.. my friends on the set knew. We talked about it.. they knew. I was not under any delusion that they didn’t know but I think publicly it’s not my thing to like call up People Magazine and be like, hey you want to know something about me? You know, I think when it happened (the incident) I’ve never been called it, and you know you go through things in life and you lose friends when you go through the process — whatever your journey is — but I’ve never been called that to my face. So, I think when that happened something shifted and it became bigger, you know what I mean, than myself. I look to people like you (Ellen) your bravery, and others people's bravery, and you're just really grateful for that because I could’ve just let it slide and not said anything but it became important."

When Ellen asked him about Washington's denial that he called Knight a "faggot" after the Golden Globes, Knight said: "Yeah, he denied that he said it (faggot)..I don’t know what to say…really, about that."

Knight also thanked Ellen for her bravery in deciding to come out so many years ago: "I was recently watching some of your interviews from that time and it was just .. It was so..I’m losing my words and I apologize it’s just very moving and it just meant so much."

Following the Golden Globes on Monday, Knight's co-star Katheringe Heigl defended Knight and expressed her disapproval at Washington's behavior, which he denies ever happened.

You may have missed...
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]

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  1. After Washington's comments at the Golden Globes this past Monday night, it's clear that he has anger management problems. Hopefully he will have plenty of time to focus in on those issues when he gets booted from Grey's Anatomy.

    Posted by: Bart | Jan 17, 2007 8:58:02 AM

  2. I believe Washington needs to 'fess up and apoogize for the slur. Yeah, I think he said it.

    What annoys me about this (and similar incidents) is that the media, talk show hosts, et al. milk them like a cow, making them larger than life itself.

    Once Washington apologizes (assumedly), let's ALL put it behind us. No, let's ALL put it behind us now, whether he (Washington) chooses to do the right thing or not.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2007 9:10:41 AM

  3. Why should we put it behind us, particularly if the perp does not acknowledge what he said? Failing to call out someone--in the public eye especially--who uses offensive words is a large part of the problem. It is tacit acceptance and that is why we should definitely not put it behind us without a specific and public apology. Grow some balls. Do you routinely let others insult you by questioning your masculinity?

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 17, 2007 9:20:51 AM

  4. With Washington's obvious abilities at lying and living in denial, perhaps he should quit acting and replace Mayor Nagin in New Orleans. That way he could still remain on tv and still lie saying stuff like "There is no crime in New Orleans". "The levees are safe". "We have the city under control".

    Posted by: Malibu Boy | Jan 17, 2007 9:33:26 AM

  5. I don't Want Washington to apologize. His comments about wanting to be gay/wishing he was gay, show that he just doesn't get why his slur was offensive. Any apology would be empty, and just a ploy to make people forget what he said. I think we should just continue to watch as I. Washington hurts himself and his career, and watch the fallout.

    Posted by: Cadence | Jan 17, 2007 9:38:00 AM

  6. Rudy:

    I would seek an apology from anyone who would denigrate or slur me. If that wasn't forthcoming, I'd not be in that person's company again.

    In this case, T R Knight could walk away from the show, but for obvious reasons --he enjoys his craft, he takes home a good paycheck -- he will probably stay with the cast and associate with Washington ONLY as the actor, but not personally, for a nanosecond.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2007 9:40:04 AM

  7. Why should TR Knight walk away? You would expect him to leave his job because a co-worker insulted him? I would take him to "fist city" (to quote the divine Loretta) if he did not immediately apologize. His female co-worker is exhibiting more balls with her threat to throw down IW than your ridiculous suggestion to walk away.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 17, 2007 9:53:54 AM

  8. What I mostly retain from this story is TR Knight's class. Wow! That was beautifully inspiring.

    Such an eloquent man too.

    Posted by: Da | Jan 17, 2007 9:54:12 AM

  9. Stephen-

    I don't know you but for some reason you sound like a jerk. Don't tell me what "we" should do.


    Posted by: ben | Jan 17, 2007 10:06:17 AM

  10. It takes courage and class to stand up to a bully and speak out. Good for him. I hope he keeps it up. T.R. Knight is my new hero.

    Posted by: sam | Jan 17, 2007 10:32:22 AM

  11. "In this case, T R Knight could walk away from the show, but for obvious reasons --he enjoys his craft, he takes home a good paycheck -- he will probably stay with the cast and associate with Washington ONLY as the actor, but not personally, for a nanosecond."

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2007 9:40:04 AM

    What?! T.R. Knight was called a "f****t" and he's the one that's supposed to QUIT?! This is the most f**ked up/perverse/self-hating argument I've seen in a long, long time. Man, you have some serious issues to resolve and good luck with it.

    Posted by: just sayin' | Jan 17, 2007 10:43:48 AM

  12. Right Ben.
    I shouldn't impose my opinion on you or others. I will put it behind me.

    And no, I don't think T R should walk away -- knee Washington in the nuts is more like it, or something similar.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2007 10:44:17 AM

  13. Stephen, your attitude, from wherever it comes—e.g., you're 8-years old and still believe all that "everything is beautiful" crap your nana or the nuns teach you; you're a textbook mascochist and get off literally on being abused; you work for Washington's publicist; ad nauseum—makes you, if you are, in fact, gay yourself, a bigger problem than people like Washington [or Michael Richards or Mel Gibson or....]. Ironically, Monday is the beginning of GLSEN's annual "No Name-Calling Week." That's geared at school children [and the American Taliban fights it in the schools in the name of the right to harass in Jesus' name]; but what's Washington's excuse? There IS no excuse, but there is an explanation, and a HUGE part of it is people like you, gay and straight, who refuse to believe that words don't just hurt but they can kill. They kill the spirit; they kill self-acceptance; they contribute to a climate of gay hatred that kills legislation and sometimes lead to killing gays. Interviews with convicted killers of gays reveal that it is not their individual homophobia alone that causes it but the belief that society approves such acts. Perhaps worst of all, it sometimes leads to gays, particularly but not soley the the young, killing themselves. The high school senior in Pennsylvania so distraught at being accused of being gay that after flinching on the first gun shot, still pulls the trigger a second time and blows his brains against the wall. The 15-year old in Canada who probably didn't even know whom he was attracted to you but was terrorized for two years at school and by e-mail and hung himself from the tree in his backyard. The stories are endless and they will not stop until the Washingtons and the Ann Coulters and the sports stars and society is made to understand that faggot equals nigger equals kike equals spik equals hate speech and though "free" in a general context, there will be consequences in the workplace. If the incident occured as reported, he should have been fired simply for the physical attack part of it, even if he hadn't said ANYTHING. That he wasn't; that the producer has allegedly perpetuated the lie that he said nothing bigotted; shows that there is something deeply wrong behind the show, even if it does employ class acts like Knight and Heigl.

    The saddest fact is that even if Washington is fired, after a period of a few months he'll be on the "Hire" list again [not that he shouldn't be IF repeat IF he adequately, publicly apologizes], but Knight, now pegged as "that fag actor with the smell of controversy" will probably rarely work again after the show's run, even with one of Follywood's infinite number of professionally closeted gays are making the decision.

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 17, 2007 11:02:41 AM

  14. How ironic that TR, who was called a faggot to try to dehumanize him and make him weak, make him less of a man, showed just what a strong man he is today.

    He was the epitome of grace and class on 'Ellen', without compromising himself. He finally said flat out what Washington had said about him. He seemed so nervous when he tried to explain why he came out, and how he looked up to Ellen. It was so obvious that he was still unsure of what to say or do, which makes it all the more brave he came out.

    I don't want to overvictimize, because he's a successful actor who is making good money while many gays and lesbians have nothing, but his demeanor on here, how shaken up he was that someone would treat him that way, was a huge example of the damage homophobia can do to people.

    Maybe all those housewives out there watching will see what damage bigotry does.

    And thank you TR for finally coming forward and doing this. I hope that you find all the happiness and success you deserve.

    If this is up on Youtube I hope someone can post it.

    Posted by: Jon | Jan 17, 2007 11:08:15 AM

  15. Hey, I like the fact that Washington is lying about the incident, even as the truth is coming out. Let that ugly word lie there like a big stinking turd for all the world to see. Let them see the contrast between Knight's eloquent words and Washington's ugliness. In my mind, one cannot apologize for such words. Washington has exposed a deep sickness in his soul, an unconciousness that simple apologies cannot heal. He should be fired from this show.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Jan 17, 2007 11:09:20 AM

  16. Leland that was beautifully put and you are so right. I have a neighbor who was using gay slurs directed at me. My manager and I called his management company and informed them. The slurs stopped. You have to take a stand if you're going to change things. Like the song says: You have to fight for the right to be queer!

    Posted by: miss dna | Jan 17, 2007 11:16:55 AM

  17. Of course, words can wound!
    And none of us should let true, hateful verbal abuse go without taking a stand.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2007 11:28:32 AM

  18. 1) I'm impressed that Ellen even acknowledged the fact that she is gay on her show, something I have yet to see her do (not that she should, being gay isn't the only thing she is, but c'mon, in this day and age it's still important).


    Thanks. =)

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 17, 2007 11:30:23 AM

  19. This is a publicity machine's wet dream... the junket that is handling Gay's Anatomy just got a huge raise for getting this little show into all the papers and talk shows.

    Its a pretty simple formula people. There is a reason entertainment is called "an industry".
    Step one : Encourage casting director to hire
    a relatively unknown star(let) that is gay but is willing to be in the closet for a few months.

    Step two: Get costar to publicly slur said star(let) for maximum media exposure

    Step three: Public Outcry. Public Apologies. Secret smirks from all parties involved.

    Step four: Win Golden Globe for best TV drama.

    Who HASN'T been called a faggot before?? Come on people, whatever happened to "sticks and stones, words blah blah." Being called a gay slur sucks but doesn't it seem this is being drawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn out way to long. Yeah so do I. But again, because we (and Ellen!) are still banging on about, I would say that the mission was accomplished.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 17, 2007 11:43:01 AM

  20. Leland, I adore your passion. Although sometimes I get concerned that your words and way of phrasing may cause some not to hear your truth, I never cease to cheer on your willingness to stand up for yourself and our community. You know I will always have your back. Yes, certain words hurt because they are intended to hurt. There are no benign insults. Put the haters (including self-haters) on notice, we will not tolerate their insults and bigotry any longer. Sing out Leland!

    Posted by: Rudy | Jan 17, 2007 11:56:50 AM

  21. I can tell a post is written by Leland before looking at the name at the bottom because he feels he has to personally insult anyone who has a different opinion from his.

    Posted by: LightningLad | Jan 17, 2007 12:18:42 PM

  22. In my work experience, I have twice been the recipient of anti-gay slurs; in both instances, I immediately notified management of the situation and both times the perpetrator was terminated. Why is this not happening in this case?

    Posted by: Joseph | Jan 17, 2007 12:21:51 PM

  23. I suspect Randy might be right to some degree. The way everyone abuses each other in Hollywood is well known--they don't have any ethics at all, let alone tolerance and understanding. TR sounds very sweet and shy and loveable but perhaps a touch naive. There are reports he might be leaving the show. Kids need to be told from an early age that they are going to have good days and bad days and need to learn how to deal with it. Most teen suicides are some way related to clinical depression--which is apparently very difficult if not impossible to treat in teenagers. It's hard to say what sort of thing you could do to help a kid who thinks they have no good solutions to their problems--and the flip side is that you don't know what sets them off. This sort of thing is better left in the medical realm than in the political-social one. And I think I should note that name-calling is practiced on this blog as in real-life without any apparent self-awareness. Pots and kettles, people!

    Posted by: anon | Jan 17, 2007 12:25:49 PM

  24. Randy, that was some of the weirdest logic I've ever heard. You really believe this was planned? You really believe this was a ploy to get more people to watch what is, by the way, already one of the most successful shows on television? And again, why should TR duck his head and walk away? You're as bad as Stephen on this--just more offensive.

    Posted by: Brucie | Jan 17, 2007 12:27:15 PM

  25. Brucie writes :
    Randy, that was some of the weirdest logic I've ever heard.
    >> Welcome to La-la land. Hollyweird. Scripted reality....etc. It still AMAZES me that people thing what the entertainment industry pumps out isn't total fabrication.

    You really believe this was planned?
    >> It may not have been "planned" but as SOON as things like this happen, Spin occurs. It is a fact of the Hollywood machine.

    You really believe this was a ploy to get more people to watch what is, by the way, already one of the most successful shows on television?
    >> Well if gay people weren't watching before with the ever advertised naked scenes with Patrick Dempsey, they are now because there's a confirmed gay in the cast. Has Out done a cover yet?? Because they will.

    And again, why should TR duck his head and walk away?
    >> He shouldn't duck away...but who do you think was the first person confronted when this situation went down? His lawyer? His boss, the studio? No, the first people that were addressed were the media.

    You're as bad as Stephen on this--just more offensive.
    >> Shut up fa&&ot (jk!)

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 17, 2007 12:37:25 PM

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