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Isaiah Washington: A Status Report

Patrick Dempsey reports to Access Hollywood's Billy Bush that there have been no recent outbursts from Isaiah Washington since he returned to the Grey's Anatomy set.

Isaiah_1Said McDreamy: "It’s hard. I haven’t spent enough time around to honestly know what’s going on with him. I haven’t spoken to him about it. You do have a feeling when you look at him that something is different and that he is working on things. You can’t get away from the fact he’s doing a great job on the show. He does beautiful work. He’s very passionate about it. He allows himself to feel deeply and sometimes, that’s very difficult to contain and control appropriately...I think good will come from this."

Hollywood website TMZ caught up with Isaiah outside L.A. restaurant Orso last week (video). According to Washington, "everything is a blessing" with regard to his relationship with T.R. Knight. When TMZ asked if he had made amends with the gay community, Washington replied "I don't know. What have you heard?" When asked about his staying on the show, Washington says: "I think that's the important thing, still giving the people what they want."

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Comments

  1. Just like when Lance "really stupid" Armstrong got up and did his LAME Brokeback comment to Jake Gyllenhaal in the audience, Washington deserves to have someone just walk up to him and give him a huge smack in the face. "Give the people what they want..." indeed.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Feb 26, 2007 12:11:47 PM


  2. There's "stupid," not-ill-meaning homophobia [Armstrong; Gyllenhaal's tired SNL drag routine], and there is stupid, but willful and aggressive and vicious homophobia [Washington, Hardaway, the Pope, ad infinitum].

    This people wants Washington to willfully, agressively, passionately grow the fuck up, but his obvious failure to have wilfully NOT apologized to Knight, plus his comment about the show, without any clarifying context, suggests he still has a long way to go. What's best for the show is not the measuring stick of what's right here. And I, for one, am STILL waiting for a public apology to Knight and the gay community from the show's creator/producer for failing to have adequately responded to the original incident LAST OCTOBER!

    Posted by: Leland | Feb 26, 2007 12:33:54 PM


  3. If that word had been N*GG*R he would have been fired.

    Shonda rhimes is a black producer who wants to protect her black actors.

    The apology would be too little too late.

    When he says "what did you hear" it means he only doing what abc is forcing him too. There's no remorse.

    Fire him now

    Posted by: Peterfrnd | Feb 26, 2007 12:39:19 PM


  4. right on leland. although i would have made just one revision to your comment... from "ad infinitum" to "ad nauseam." seems so much more appropriate, don't cha think?

    Posted by: sean | Feb 26, 2007 12:41:14 PM


  5. Peter,

    There is really no evidence for that charge. Be critical of Washington but to turn this into a "those black folk sure love to protect their own" scene is sort of silly.

    Posted by: James | Feb 26, 2007 12:46:24 PM


  6. I'm not so sure that Peter is out of line here. Even the Oscar's showed their racism last night by having the black anchor (whoever he was, I'd never seen him before) interviewing the black actors and the white anchor interviewing the white actors... it was appalling to me and very blatant.

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 26, 2007 12:54:44 PM


  7. Wow! I didnt know there was a difference between "stupid, not-ill-meaning homophobia" and "willful and aggressive homophobia". I thought it was all just.... homophobia.

    Posted by: Toto | Feb 26, 2007 1:19:48 PM


  8. TMZ aren't exactely a credible source for seeking the truth for the sake of any community.

    However, we can applaud them for the masterful way they exploded into the gossip scene after skillfully blowing up the "Britney almost drops baby" and "Firecrotch" incident to world proportion scandal.

    Posted by: Da | Feb 26, 2007 1:26:19 PM


  9. It's out of line to assume there's a race-based reason at work here, unless you're a racist who can only see actions by people who are black as somehow motivated by them being black.

    There's nothing"racist" about anchors who are black interviewing actors who are black. Unless you're pining for the good old days when all anchors and actors were white, or have some bizarre need to have a black anchor with a white actor for some kind of PC balance.

    It would be a better world if some of you stopped being so focused on race and just took people for who they are.

    Posted by: SGR | Feb 26, 2007 1:29:01 PM


  10. I don't watch the show, and I won't start.

    Posted by: John | Feb 26, 2007 1:30:58 PM


  11. BTW, the reason why Andre Leon Tally (sp?) interviewed Jennifer Hudson was because he styled her for awards season, not because of their mutual blackness.

    Although Shonda Rhimes exec produces grey's anatomy, all final hiring and firing decisions come from her ABC bosses. I sincerely doubt that she has any power to "protect her own." Besides, do you really follow the anachronistic belief that black people share a monolithic mindset?

    Posted by: Jason | Feb 26, 2007 1:40:05 PM


  12. Its kinda funny how some of the dizzy queens here are throwing their usual racist nonsense into the thread. I.Washington is a homophobic boob, call him out on that, but, nope those with racist tendencies, and Lord knows there are more than a few who post here, start dishing racist crap about a whole group of people. Some of these gay men and women to a much lesser extent need to get over their own intolerance and bigotry before they start demanding others to do the same, be cause respect is a two way street.

    Posted by: Luke | Feb 26, 2007 1:55:12 PM


  13. I didn't say I had an issue with the black/black and white/white interviews, I simply said it happened. Andre Tally was on ABC and interviewed Will and Jada Smith, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Fox and Forest Whitaker, with no white's interviewed at all. And they're white host didn't interview anyone of color, not even a hispanic, however they did cut to Lisa Ling interviewing some hispanic actors. As I said, it just seemed odd the way this played out.

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 26, 2007 1:58:28 PM


  14. In the absence of any proof to the contrary, after repeatedly reading the claim "ABC controls all" over the past few weeks, I submit this from the October 2005 issue of "Ebony": “'Grey's Anatomy' is literally [Rhimes'] product from start to finish. ...Sure, the series is a collaborative effort, but Rhimes still has the ultimate say. She approves the scripts from the writers, participates in the casting and selects all the music used in the show.” In short, the idea that she can do nothing without ABC's approval is CRAP. Sure, they could say, "Do X or we're taking the series off the air immediately." But it's one of their biggest hits, getting bigger by the week, and they would only kill one of their golden gooses in circumstances it's impossible to imagine developing.

    Forget firing him, in any case, she always had the freedom to release a statement something like, "It's true that an incident occurred on our set in which one of our actors slurred another member of the cast with hateful language. I want our viewers, I want the media, and I want the world to know what my cast knows: I reject all forms of homophobia and none of my team is more important than that. I am taking steps to see that it never happens again and that amends is duly paid.”

    But she did nothing like that, did she, Blanche? Not then; not after his second outrage at the Golden Globes; not today. And, regardless of her race, one has to wonder why.

    Posted by: Leland | Feb 26, 2007 2:26:22 PM


  15. Leland, Second that! Worse than not saying anything vaguely apologetic, she giggled when IW exacerbated his homophobic behaviour with his bigoted tirade at the Golden Globes. Ms. Rhimes has the ability and the repsonsiblity but she has done nothing but encouraged IW by her omissions.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 26, 2007 2:32:40 PM


  16. LELAND: Excellent point. Where is the producer, who hand picked all the actors due to the desire to create a diverse television show that rightfully depicts a diverse world, in all of this? Ms. Rhimes has not said one thing about this incident, and I wonder if that is her decision or ABC's. Either way, as an individual who champions diversity, one would assume she would have something important to say.

    Posted by: Cory | Feb 26, 2007 2:38:44 PM


  17. just stop watching the show period ("grey's"). it's not even very original. hmmm, a show about doctors. trail blazing. i'd rather watch reruns of "st. elsewhere."

    Posted by: sean | Feb 26, 2007 3:08:31 PM


  18. Grey's Anatomy is such a boring show. Tried to watch for Knight, and he's good on that show but...blah.

    Posted by: FanGirlHater | Feb 26, 2007 3:52:23 PM


  19. I agree with Fangirl. My boyfriend used to like to watch it, and I found it unbearably stupid. Would you want to be wheeled into a hospital without one Jew, Japanese, or Indian on the staff?! That's scary.

    Posted by: Joe T. | Feb 26, 2007 6:34:57 PM


  20. Actually Leland, she did admit that it happened. At the GG she said that no reporter made up anything that happened. You can read it on the eonline site, in Ted Cassablanca's (I think that's his name) section.

    Posted by: Cadence | Feb 26, 2007 6:42:15 PM


  21. Also, I don't think Rhimes is protecting Washington, as much as she is protecting her show. She should have issued a public statement when it first happened, but that doesn't mean she didn't address the issue between the two actors, which is much more important than PR.

    Posted by: Cadence | Feb 26, 2007 6:44:03 PM


  22. 1) Jason is spot-on - ABC has all of the hiring/firing power, not Ms. Rhimes. If the network wanted him gone, he'd be gone; but he's not and the show's #1 in the ratings, so that's that. Cadence is also correct - Ms. Rhimes is protecting her show as well as her own position - she is subject to the same hiring/firing policies as anyone else in the Tragic Kingdom.

    2) Leland, you've got to be kidding - Ebony Magazine? Even if they did write in 2005 that "it was her creative product from start to finish" that has NOTHING to do with the CONTRACT she had to sign with Touchstone to produce her product (under terms most beneficial to them) and ABC/Touchstone to put her product on the air (again, under terms most beneficial to them).

    3) Cory - first or second time executive producers don't get to "hand-pick" their actors; right now only Jerry Bruckheimer and Dick Wolf get to do that.

    2) Isiah has apologized - and I believe those were his words, not solely the ABC publicity machine (he can be articulate and heartfelt on his own, if you've read any of his older interviews). He has sought out "help" - whatever ABC deemed that was - and he's now back on the set, keeping a low profile and doing (my opinion) excellent work. TMZ's wording of the interview as written above seems a little odd, maybe a little biased, so I wouldn't take it as 100% accurate or be so quick to judge his progress based on it.

    I dunno, maybe leave the guy alone for a while?

    Posted by: SoCal | Feb 26, 2007 8:05:13 PM


  23. SOCAL: I dunno, maybe you can....kiss my ass. Nothing you've asserted [have you read the contract? Is slavery back?], including praising his acting, has anything to do with my point, any more than Cadence misquoting Rhimes' cryptic comment at the Globes—which actually seemed nothing more than a shell game attempt to pretend that nothing serious had happened: "Things were created in a very odd way by the press that were not necessarily completely reported as true."

    That was seconds before Washington, in a self-destructive act that will haunt him for years, lept forward and used the F-world again; she responded with a giggle which however much a "nervous" reaction was an insult to gays, even if she did wet her panties at the same time. As I've written before, if T.R. Knight or another white cast member had lept to the mike and said, "I never called Isaiah a nigger," there's no way in Hell, let alone Hollywood, that she would have laughed, nervous or not.

    Washington ripped out of hands her attempt to neutralize the reporter's question with the suggestion that stuff had been made up AND her ability to deny the seriousness of the incident months before, AND her irresponsibility at the time.

    You poopoo "Ebony," how about the Associated Press TV critic on January 20th:
    "A program relies on the executive producer, dubbed a 'showrunner', to set the tone, especially when a crisis hits, said writer-producers Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman ('Queer as Folk', 'Sisters'). 'You're very much in charge, in control, and people look up to you in that way', said Lipman. 'They will follow suit in how you handle it.' He and Cowen once had to deal with an actor whose public remarks had infuriated fellow cast members, who snubbed him. The man chose not to return for another season and 'frankly, we would have decided that as well', Cowen said, declining to identify the actor."

    Like Rhimes, Cowen/Lipman had a contract with their network but the first responsibility was theirs, as it was hers with Washington.

    Finally, on January 24th, nine days after Washington's second meltdown, and three MONTHS after his first, Rhimes, six days after ABC's own apology, I guess her panties finally dry, said, "I speak for all the executive producers here at 'Grey's Anatomy' when I say that Isaiah Washington's use of such a disturbing word was a shocking and dismaying event that insulted not only gays and lesbians everywhere, but anyone who has ever struggled for respect in a world that is not always accepting of difference."

    So she was disturbed, shocked, and dismayed, but still not apologetic for her failure to fire the asshole three months before nor for attempting to blame the press for distorting the facts. And Washington's most recent comments "a little odd"? Simply watch the video—Andy quoted him verbatim.

    There's no way he should still be on the show.

    Posted by: Leland | Feb 26, 2007 9:54:29 PM


  24. so much drama, about a lame tv show and the jerks that star on it. if those who are so offended by the homophobic remarks would also come on denounce the racist ones here, then they would have some credibilty, until then, long winded bores, who should just stick to the pretty boy stories.

    Posted by: jake | Feb 26, 2007 10:22:34 PM


  25. Leland, what's it like being able to see things from only one point-of-view?

    Posted by: Kyle | Feb 26, 2007 10:32:37 PM


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