Isaiah Washington Makes Bionic Leap to NBC

They can rebuild him.

WashingtonNBC is set to announce that Isaiah Washington, whose contract ABC decided not to renew for another season on the hit show Grey’s Anatomy following months of controversy after his much-publicized gay slurs, will guest star on the NBC’s remake of The Bionic Woman this fall.

USA Today reports that the actor has also designed a development deal with the network “to star in a potential action drama he pitched to the network for the 2008-09 TV season.”

Said Katherine Pope, president of NBC’s Universal Media Studios: “[Isiaiah Washington is] a brilliant actor…I think people watch characters on TV, not personalities.”

Washington has reportedly signed on for “at least five episodes” of Bionic Woman. According to the paper, “he’ll play an outsider with a mysterious agenda who is introduced early in the series and may either help the superpowered Jamie (Michelle Ryan, in the role first played by Lindsay Wagner) or take her down.”

Washington to return to network TV [tr]

You may have missed…
Isaiah Washington: There’s No Rehab for Homophobia [tr]
Isaiah Washington Says T.R. Knight Should Have Been Fired [tr]

Comments

  1. Giancarlo Blandon says

    Hey Andy, do you have NBC’s contact information for comments on their programming? I’d like to start blasting them the way I did ABC. This is disgusting. I guess I’ll be blocking NBC the way I did ABC this past spring. Gotta love that V-chip!!!

  2. Dori says

    CRAP! and I was going to watch the Bionic woman. I am soooo over this man. What did the casting call for: Homophobic, not really good looking, not really sexy, mediocre actor in need of anger managment please apply? Employ someone who is really worth it. Taye Diggs or Blair Underwood someone sexy and good. You never even hear about Cuba Gooding Jr. anymore and he’s won an Oscar!
    What was Katherine Pope thinking with a statement like “I think people watch characters on TV, not personalities” are you kidding? I will never watch or support anything of his again. I wish he was worth making all this fuss over.

  3. damien says

    You know what? I don’t much care. I really have no interest to follow Isaiah Washington to the ends of the Earth & try to make sure he never has a career again (Heck, I figured he was doing a good enough job of that himself by running his mouth so much). If NBC wants to hire him, then so be it. They’re right, after all: As stupid as Washington is, he’s is an good actor (totally subjective). there’s a large chance that I won’t watch the show, but at the same time, I don’t care to waste my time tracking his every move.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. Critifur says

    I would be interested to know to whom I might write to at NBC to let them know my feelings about their hiring of Mr. Washington in light his issues with his using bigoted slurs.

    Then denying using the slur, apologizing for using the slur, disingenuously make amends for the slur by doing a PSA (and, was it anger management?), then again go back to his position of either not really making the slur in the way it was described by witnesses or having made the slur but that he feels we have no right to be offended by its use nor should he have been punished for it, and then blaming others for the fallout of his using the slur, and then claiming that he should be considered a victim in the whole situation.

    Why would they want to know my feelings? Because as someone in the highly coveted demographic of television watchers (outside of the fact that I am a gay man, they should know that with the addition of Mr. Washington to their program, I will no longer be willing to watch “Bionic Woman”. As well, NBC is certainly expecting large numbers of gay men to be watching “Bionic Woman”, though they may not be willing to make known the consideration of gays in their programing decisions, they should also know that this is an affront and will cause the loss of many of the gay viewers . That the hiring of a man who cannot take responsibility for his disturbing anti-gay behavior, and then rewarding him with another highly visible role is not acceptable to me. That I do watch a program based on characters, not on personalities, but that when an actor’s personal life overshadows his role, and when rewards are given for negative actions, I am no longer willing to watch or support said program. Knowing that Mr. Washington has been added to the cast means I will not even be watching the pilot of the Bionic Woman, I would prefer not to get hooked on a show I would later have to stop watching. I am glad to get this information before the show begins airing.

    So does anyone know where I might direct this information?

  5. Brad says

    It’s more disheartening to see that NBC, which has the lowest primetime ratings among the top 4 networks, thinks it can pull itself out of the bottom by pulling stunts like this. It shows more desperation for ratings than anything else. They know that by hiring Washington, even if he is a good actor, they are going the cheap way of getting viewers. In effect, it demeans its own programming and insults everyone else involved with a show that could potentially be successful if it didn’t resort to cheap ratings pleas.

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    If I can watch “Birth of a Nation” and appreciate DW Griffith’s artistry, and “Gone With the Wind” while adoring my beloved Vivien Leigh, then y’all can Isaiah in “The Bionic Woman.” Get over yourselves.

  7. shesthemimi says

    Aside from contacting NBC, which is easy to find, you might drop a line to Universal which is one of the production companies involved.

    David Eick, one of the producers of the new ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ is also a producer of the new Bionic Woman. But I cannot find any contact info for David Eick Productions.

    I agree with you, this is very disappointing- I was going to watch that show as well. I realize that of all the casts of all TV shows, there are sure to be many people who hate gays, but the difference is that Washington put it out in public, and isn’t man enough to truly take responsibility (proven by his recent interviews where he portrays himself as the victim).

  8. johnJohn says

    Such a shame NBC can be so blind and ignorant. Yet another show I will avoid and make sure I set into motion plays that will have others avoid this show. If NBC would undue their contract with Mr. Washington, then of course I would give this show a shot. Until then, never!

  9. Brian says

    He’s a tool and a douchebag, but I guess he needs to make a living… I think it’s a little bit of delicious Schadenfreude to realize that Washington is starting down the “special guest star” path that was blazed by Charo and Paul Williams. If there’s an enterntainment purgatory, that would most assuredly be it.

  10. woodroad34 says

    5 episodes is quite a guest-starring role. Perhaps it’s a showcase for his “in development” action show. Oh, and there is life outside of acting. I just bet Isaiah wouldn’t be that good there, either.

  11. Confused says

    Isn’t it possible that they hired him because of his talent? I mean, calling someone a fag doesn’t make someone scared (eg: phobic) of those who are queer. It merely means he disagrees with their actions. Isn’t that allowed in our society? Compare it to those who are blasphemous against Jesus Christ in so many movies – are those people Christ-ophobic?

  12. michael says

    I’m so happy for Isaiah!
    He’ll be great on the bionic woman, and hopefully his development deal takes off as well.

    The INSANE reaction by people on this site to his calling someone a faggot is way out of bounds. You would think he was a one man anti gay terror squad. He apologized, so get the fuck over it.

    Writing letters to networks, and starting campaigns to destroy his career smacs of racism. Any casual reader of this site will son discover that black = evil homophobe on this site.

  13. Tom says

    You guys are really intolerant. This guy has a family to take of, his job is being an actor. What do you want to happen? Do you want him blacklisted and shunned from Hollywood? If you don’t like him, don’t watch his shows, but plotting and planning his downfall is stupid.

  14. Brad says

    Racism? Washington’s race has been a nonissue, and to even bring it up at this point in the dialogue is to scrape the bottom of the barrel to support your own argument.

    Nobody can expect gay viewers to want to support him at all after what he said and did. He only apologized because he was forced to. I think at this point, people are more upset at NBC for supporting him (and thereby condoning his actions). He is obviously just trying to get on with his life and no one can blame him for that. But I’m not watching.

  15. Bobby says

    Let him do the job, maybe he’ll not have anymore than 5 episodes and we’ll not have to worry about it.

    I’m not watching because of him and I’ll only continue to watch it if it’s a bad series.

    I’m hoping it’s gonna be a good one.

  16. Critifur says

    Let’s see, where to begin…

    DERRICK FROM PHILLY:
    The only thing I can say is that I can only imagine you were facetious when trying to compare two epically historic films (even if horribly racist), with what will possibly be a mildly entertaining, and culturally limited sci-fi show (that guest-stars a bigoted performer)

    ANON (GMAIL.COM):
    Well obviously. In fact the majority of Americans probably do not care about Mr. Washington in any way. As they do not care about many things I may find important. If I can care and other people care, and we all make our voices known, we can effect change. I usually do this with political issues, but this issue with Mr. Washington, can make changes to the cultural landscape. In what is acceptable and not. It means people might make better choices in the future.

    CONFUSED:
    I suspect he was hired for a myriad of reasons, one of them being his talent. As I said, I believe that in this case his talent is overshadowed by his voicing his bigotry and not taking responsibility for it. Calling someone a fag does not mean they are scared, that is correct, it means they HATE. You are using a variation of the classic Christian rhetoric, “hate the sin and not the sinner”, which is in itself a deception by many who use it, to mask hatred, realized or not. One may not justify using “fag” in a professional situation and all that followed. As well, comparing blasphemy to using a slur is a bit of apples to oranges. I also do not believe anyone would say they are Christ phobic. One may not believe in him at all, or do not subscribe to his beliefs, but I know of no one who is afraid of (or hate) Christ, or of his teachings. I am personally Christian phobic; I do fear many in the various Christian churches, and the ways by which the Christians and church tries to impose its views of the rest of society with negative results. All in the name of one who would have never judged so harshly, and if God, would be so far above it all to care how love manifests itself.

  17. Critifur says

    Oops, ANON(GMAIL.COM), that should have read: If I can care and other people care, and we all make our voices known, we can AFFECT change.

    sorry Nana…

  18. Jan says

    I do not agree with IW using that dispicable word but I can’t understand the lenght that some people will go to to destroy him. Writing letters to stop him from being hired is just as hateful as the word you so detest. He was wrong and he paid the price. Leave him alone. Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone. We have all, at some point in our lives said and done things that we regret. We’re not perfect. For all those who wish to rob him of a job, look deep inside your heart and you might find that you too have slipped up at least once. Forgive and move on. Life is too short.

  19. says

    Tom, you say he has a family to take care of? Well, so do a lot of other people who are kind, caring and concerned citizens. I have watched the recent interviews with this attitude slinging dog and I still question if he could qualify to work entry level customer service. I do not see any acting talent, just a jackass with an attitude of entitlement from hell. How apropos that they chose the clip for Larry King where he tells another doctor on his last show that he can only address him as “Doctor” and not by his first name, which has and will forever escape me. I don’t want to ever see this idiot again. His bad act simply empowers other minorities to dish the same attitude in everyday life. And we certainly have more of those than we need walking around right now.

  20. Giovanni says

    Dunno… after rightfully being called out -the dude apologized was then publicly humiliated , did a psa, went into anger rehab and YET was still fired from a leading role on the most popular show on tv which one can only assume lead to a dramatic drop in his income – seems to me he’s paid for calling Knight a faggot to Dempsey – I am ready to move on – who am I to say anyone is beyond redemption, forgiveness, or the ability to earn a living for their family doing what they love to do.

    Given some of the racially/culturally/ clueless things that are posted on this board imagine what were to happen if we were somehow to find ourselves held to the same standard?

    Forgiving is not forgetting and Washington, who as a working black actor in Hollywood was already on permanent probation, will be closely watched – I for one hope he’s learned his lesson though I never actually thought he was a homophobe – crazy, arrogant and perhaps unstable yes, but not a homophobe.

    Btw the comparisons to Imus are bogus – Imus’s racial shock jocking spanned four decades …

  21. shesthemimi says

    Bull- refusing to support a show with Washington doesn’t make me a racist, what complete garbage. That diminishes the people who have actually suffered from homophobia AND racism.

    You guys act like Washington called TR Knight a faggot and it stopped at that. He used the word again in public, and his recent inteviews make it comepletely clear that his subsequent apologies were false, done only to keep his job.
    He’s obviously not a one-man anti-gay death squad, ridiculous overstatements like that don’t further the debate. But why should he get away with his behavior? And why should I support him knowing that he said what he said?

  22. says

    Oh puhleeaazze!! Get over yourselves, you self righteous sinners!! The guy has already paid the price and that’ll teach him. But for y’all to still be obsessed with this story…Dang!!

  23. blackman says

    BLACKMAN WINS!!!!!!

    About damn time. That little sissy bitch TR Knight – don’t give a fuck about Gay people.

    What have he done for ya’ll lately?

  24. Seriously? says

    Michael (and any one else who pulls the “race card” crap): Take a good looooong hard look at yo’self, cuz honestly, I have never read such S**T in my LIFE. Pulling the race card is RACIST IMO. No one mentioned any thing about his “race” except you, and quite frankly race doesn’t trump homophobia. EVER. For those who pull this non-sense that we need to “get over it”, I am BAFFLED. If you are gay men, should we all just “get over” the countless acts of homophobia, such as Andrew Anthos who was killed in Detroit, or the recent killing of the man in California??? Words are not just words, they INCITE, and lead to ACTION. Mr. Washington’s half a$$ed attempt at “apologizing” was more for his career than for feeling truly sorry for his actions, as is VERY obvious by his countless recants and then ACCUSATIONS that it was all a conspiracy.

    Not only did he recant, but he DEMEANED homosexuals such as T.R. Knight by stating Knight orchestrated this whole thing to can sympathy; that he used the “excuse” of homophobia so get more money and star power on the show. THAT is wrong. It demonstrates Washington’s homophobia, cowardice, bigotry and inability to understand his actions.

    If we all simply “roll over” and say “Yesa, masa”, then we are no better than the struggles faced by other civil rights movements. TAKING A STAND AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN AND THAT WE WILL BE RESPECTED AND TAKEN SERIOUSLY IS PRIMARY. Remember, it is Mr. WASHINGTON that is not letting this go, by speaking in public again, again and again. T.R. Knight addressed this a few times, made NO direct personal attacks or accusations of lying and conspiracy’s and has the support of ABC and Grey’s Anatomy.

    So for those of you who state “Get over yourselves”, “Oh Puhleeeeaze”, “smacks of racism”, ETC., GET OVER YOURSELVES!!! Be part of the SOLUTION, not part of the PROBLEM.

  25. Gregg says

    I’m over the whole “faggot” thing, but I really don’t understand why anyone would think that IW is a talented actor. He’s really pretty bad. Compared to some of the other really great acting going on around him on Grey’s Anatomy, it’s no wonder that he puffed up his ego with hissy fits. He had to cover the fact that he really can’t act.

  26. Who says

    The fact that he apologized and then lied about the fact that he originally said the slur is what makes him a douche. I may watch the show but I think NBC see him as the face of evil which they are hoping won’t get thier asses kicked in the ratings game.I don’t know if I’ll watch the show I guess I’ll just wait til Heroes comeback.

  27. JR says

    Look everybody, this whole thing is dead. He went on Larry King and it was a HUGE non story. No one cares anymore. He’s an actor and he needs to work. Obviously he’s a jerk, but MANY work places employ jerks. He’s worked for some time as an actor so he clearly has talent that some deem appropriate for their shows. Let it go. If you don’t like him don’t watch him. Everyone is now aware of his behavior and runs the risk when hiring him. This is over, as well it should be. T.R. came out of this the classier, more respectable guy and isn’t that the ultimate payback? Let’s move on people.

  28. Rockstar says

    I was looking forward to the Bionic Woman but now I’ll pass. I’m not even pissed about him and the whole T.R Knight thing. I’m disgusted by his actions afterwards and all the crap media as of late. I don’t care if I’m the only one but I am over stars who act as if they are above everyone else or who do not take responsibility for their actions. Screw him. If NBC decides to keep him, I’m turning to CBS.

  29. Joe T. says

    For those of you who think the hatred shown here toward Washington is mostly race-based, I can’t agree. It is for some guys, absolutely (because there have been some directly racial statements), but overall I’ve seen much more hatred on Towleroad for Caucasians that made statements so much less severe than anything Washington said or did. I’ve seen professed hopes for death, beatings, rapes. In last week’s post on Bill O’Reilly, someone stated he’d feed O’Reilly glass and then dance a merry jig (really psychopathic stuff). In comparison, I’ve only seen posters wishing for Washington to never get an acting job again.

  30. Giovanni says

    Seriously,

    You should probably know, bro, that the moment you use the term “race card”, even parenthetically, you lose a considerable amount of inluence you may have with your intended audience. This is America, race is perpetually in play and to deny it is to deny yourself.

    You are I believe right however in assuming that initally, for the vast majority of sound minded people, the Isiah Washington mess had little specifically to do with race but everything to do with the power of hateful words. The silver lining in all of this is that a spotlight has now been placed on the offense and most people will wisely think twice before repeating it.

  31. No, seriously says

    Giovanni,

    Get a clue. The person is not saying race is never an issue, where the hell did that broad statement come from? Race is not an issue here, and to state (as Michael and a few others stated) that racism is an issue with regards to the gay community’s response to IW is ridiculous, laughable and I N S A N E. More over, claiming that it discredits “Seriously?” is ludicrous. Re-read comments before assuming something that isn’t there, since as they say “When you assume, it makes an ass out of u and me”.

  32. Mike says

    Seriously luv ya! GREAT comment. I hope the bionic woman kicks his coward butt. What a jerk. Those who stand up to bigotry should be applauded. Those who defend bigotry because they happen to share a trait with someone be ashamed. Bigotry is bigotry. There is NO reason for a gay man not to complain about this bigot simply due to the color of his skin. That is stupid and ridiculous to think so.

  33. Mike says

    Oh yes Sir Mr. Washington. Spew more and more bigotry forth. Yes. YES! I will take it simply because people w/ your skin tone suffered in the past and many suffer to this day. Please please! Do talk to down to me! I will take it. Nevermind that many others have suffered too but your “suffering” is paramount. This is the only solution to our problems. Even though you are a rich overpaid actor who really does not have to work one more day in your life while many of us struggle paycheck to paycheck please don’t stop the bigotry!!!

    Do the people defending this idiot know who stupid your arguments read?????????

  34. Giovanni says

    Having reread his statment, my own and um… yours (?) I feel comfortable with what’s written – perhaps you should take your own advice. As for the who is (has) the bigger ass , well, as they also say we see (or don’t see as the case may be ) what we want to see.

    Thanks

  35. Yes, Seriously says

    Giovanni,

    I guess we do see what we want to see, and some just close their eyes to all of it. Ignorance can be bliss, can’t it?

    Thanks

  36. Will says

    Wow. What a shame. I, too, was excited about the remake but won’t be watching now. I was able to email NBC from their website (www.nbc.com). At the bottom of the page is a small text link labeled “contact us.” By choosing “other” in the pull-menu, you can send your message. I hope many will.

  37. johnosahon says

    i am ONLY going to watch bionic woman, beacause of isaiah. i hope it will be a major sucess so you losers can have sleepness nights the man has moved on, he was sacked, what more do you want.

  38. says

    isaiah washington is a hot head, and will mouth-off again and remain difficult to work with… and NBC will dump him after the five episodes finish filming.
    frankly, this cover version of Bionic Woman has to make it off the ground first… and that’s doubtful.

  39. Rey says

    I can’t wait for this bitch to lose his temper again and get fired.

    It’s not like the TR Knight incident was a first for Mr. Washington.

    As for _Bionic Woman_, I was curious, but I’m going to pass now. I’m too closed-minded to accept an actor with a nasty personality in any sort of a role.

    And FWIW, I think Washington by playing the race card was the one who made this into a racially-oriented fuss. I think there’s a select place in Hell for anybody who uses ‘race’ as a motivation when it clearly isn’t. We have far too many racially-prejudiced things happening in our world to let some jerk hijack what is often a valid claim.

  40. MrRoboto says

    What I can’t believe NO ONE has addressed is the concept of second chances. I knew virtually the second that I heard Isaiah’s option hadn’t been renewed and this whole drama got started that he would indeed bounce back quickly and get the glorious second chance that some producer, network or other industry would tout in order to raise a show’s profile in the press. But what about second chances for T.R. Knight? I’m curious to see what opportunities he’ll get after Grey’s Anatomy. He is now an OUT gay actor in Hollywood, which essentially means he will likely never get another lead role in a network series, or even a 5 episode guest star arc on a prominent series, unless it’s as the wisecracking gay sidekick of the show’s female lead. He might get a 2-line flashback scene on the occasional crime procedural, but as for anything that doesn’t stereotype him as a gay character, forget it. I hope he’s socking away every penny of that Grey’s Anatomy money, because once that gig’s over, T.R.’s most likely doomed to crappy gay indies and bit parts here and there.

  41. says

    Kudos to the casting director of the bionic woman. I had not planned to watch the show, but now I will solely because of I. Washington. He made a mistake, apologized and is moving on. We should do the same

  42. Bangfan says

    I’m disgusted by all the hate-filled comments on here towards IW. Wanting to destroy somebody’s career because of something he said in the heat of the moment (not directed at TR, even though TR LIED and claimed that it was directed at him, which by the way nobody is even addressing), well that’s just sad and pathetic. It shows that the gay community is vindictive, spiteful and intolerant. I wish IW all the best and I hope that Grey’s Anatomy sinks without him, cause he was the best goddamn actor, besides Sandra Oh, on that show. And yes, MrRoboto, TR will most likely be typecast from now on – serves him right for lying about the incident, Karma Rocks!

  43. says

    And “being part of the solution” means what in your opinion, SERIOUSLY? Do you know what each and everyone of us is doing on a daily basis to curbe this social ill we call homophobia? I doubt it. Just because someone happens to find no valid reason in burrying IW after so many apologies, doesn’t mean pulling the race card (I don’t even know why you’d think I did, or did I sound “black” to you…maybe…). IW isn’t my fave actor, black or otherwise. His acting is of absolutely no interest to me. This could have been someone who made a racist comment like what’s-his-face (Michael Richards), and I’d say the same thing. GET OVER IT, already!! The man is trying to make a living.

  44. macguffin54 says

    i DO understand why people are so angry and CAN understand why we should be doing what we can to limit the success of this ignorant “actor”. everything that reaches the (mainstream) press means something much larger than the issue at hand. there is an importance that certain people just don’t “get”. let’s try to affect change when we can, and maybe that change will filter beyond just this issue. we need to look at things it grander terms.(besides, i LOVED the original bionic woman and do not want to watch this remake if i have to watch this actor who i cannot ever stand to look at, especially if he will have a multi-episode arc. i don’t want them messing with my show!! i’m a geek, i’m sorry.) sigh, first they kill the heroes gay subplot and now this. here is the website where you can email NBC.

    http://www.nbc.com/Footer/Contact_Us/

  45. SecondCummin says

    ROTFLMFAO! Wait, wait wait. Let me guess:

    He’s an android bigfoot sent by amazon nazi’s from the future to destroy America by instigating socialized health care?

    Is there anything gayer than the bionic woman? Well, besides being a special guest star on the bionic woman, of course. Oh, I’m already bored.

    It sounds like the “Galatica Curse” to me! What a disaster.

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