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July 31, 2014

Isaiah Washington not returning to Grey's Anatomy; he's "mad as hell"

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 8th 2007 8:24AM
Isaiah WashingtonIt's official: Isaiah Washington isn't coming back to Grey's Anatomy.

According to E! Online (who confirmed the story with ABC Television Studios), Washington, who portrayed Dr. Preston Burke, was informed yesterday that his contract will not be renewed. The actor's statement was succinct: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Recall that Washington caused an uproar around the Grey's set and in the entertainment industry when he called co-star T.R. Knight a "faggot" late last year. Knight publicly came out of the closet after the incident, and Washington had to spend the rest of the season in damage control, going to "rehab" and meeting with representatives from GLAAD, among other forms of restitution. Apparently that incident, combined with an overall difficult attitude, sealed Washington's fate.

[thanks to Dorv and Jillian for the tips.]

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kathy tlougan

I love Isaiah Washington (Preston Burke). I think he was the best person on Grey's Anatomy and it made me feel really sad when I heard he was fired. Could you possibly rethink this. Why can't people let things go and get along. I loved season one and two so much I purchased both of them and plan to get season three but I think season 4 will be missing at least 1/3rd of the fun.

July 05 2007 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
caz

i don't greys will the same without isaah, i mean it happen to OC they killed a character and what happen to it, ratings went down and they have to pull it down coz nobody wants to watch it anymore coz the story doesn't make sense anymore... so i think they r having a mistake here, common let's give him a chance.

June 23 2007 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ann

here's the thing with replacing Isaiah with a different actor
TVGUIDE said that the show would be putting someone else in and that Brooke Smith might be a good candidate. she hasnt been asked to do the role however, and its gonna be hard to find someone to do the show and etc.

however, for me being a fan of Brooke Smith from her recent stint on Crossing Jordan, i think if she does join the cast, it'll be an interesting season and i'd like to see what happens.

June 19 2007 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jj

i dont know if i totally agree with his firing but i dont disagree with it. if this was a regular work situation and this fight happened, it probably would have played out similarly. The person could be great at their job but if he or she made people in the office uncomfortable, he would have a possibility of losing his job.

June 09 2007 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
free2buandme

The level of hypocrisy at ABC is unbelievable. Rosie O'donnell was allowed to spew all kinds hateful and insulting remarks for months on the View, but because she was good for ratings, she was allowed to continue long after she should have been stopped. It seems to me that everyone is fare game for free speech in this country-Christian's, Jews, Black's, President Bush,etc., but the minute someone offends a gay person, they get crucified. It's awful. Grey's Anatomy used to be my favorite show. Since Isaiah Washington will not be returning in the fall, neither will I, nor will I purchase products from the sponsors of GA.

June 08 2007 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robyn

I am extremely dissappointed with the firing of IW. I feel that he was wrong for the things he said, however, Burke's and Yang's characters are very entertaining, and that is why I watch TV-----to be entertained. Also, my understanding is that Isaiah was complaining because TR was late----again! If that is the case, why is TR getting a raise and not the boot for his tardiness? And talk about damage control. Why is George all of a sudden a ladies man? Paaaleeeeeze. Never will that be believable. He just can't pull that off. I loved it when George was a shy sensitive character pinning for Grey.

June 08 2007 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris.B.

I am very disappointed in the firing of Isaiah Washington.
What else did the producers want him to do to make things right, shed his blood? He said his apologies, he went to "rehab", he met with GLAAD representatives & he went through " other forms of restitution", as Joel mentioned. To have him go through all that he did to rectify matters & still fire him? That's very tacky.
Whatever went on off camera,which was unfortunate, did not affect Isaiah's great performance on camera, as Dr. Preston Burke. I really liked his portrayal of this character. I will no longer watch GA.

June 08 2007 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amboo

GA is no longer the best thing on TV. The show is boring.
Isaiah will move on if he keeps his mouth shut. TR is boring and will never again play the role of ladies man.
I will no longer watch the show.

June 08 2007 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jaymez

I'm glad my career doesn't depend on public opinion. I refuse to live in fear of offending someone and will NOT censor my language. The press, and bloggers, would have a field day with me if I were semi-famous.

This show became unwatchable durring the whole check cashing story. I tuned out shortly after the new year and I won't return.

June 08 2007 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walt

You have to admire the way the show has polarized previous fans of the show.

Funny thing, though. Originally, the behind the scenes spin on the show BEFORE this happened, before the show really made it to the top of the ratings heap, was that Shondra wrote the parts to be race neutral, and that not every actor that played the roles in the show tried out for just that part -- meaning the racial diversity was just a great and "happy accident" and for the most part I happily bought into that spin, whether it was real or not. Isiah did a great job acting in his role. The stuff we saw in front of the camera was indeed an understated alpha male under firm control. Great character, great portrayal of same.

Knight, on the other hand, is playing a character that I'm not fond of, and I'm torn -- I can't decide if it's the character or Knight's portrayal of that character that I've really grown to dislike. Before the real life offscreen "incident", I didn't like the actor or the character, but it's always hard to like beta males onscreen. It's even harder to like them when they seem to romantically score a home run.

Ultimately, the character Knight plays won't carry the show, and it's a ratings killer.

Heigl, on the other hand is portraying a character nobody likes, but she's pretty and just like her character, gets away with stuff less attractive people wouldn't. She's got a charmed situation now, at least from this outsider's view.

Ultimately, the show hit a high water mark right around the exploding ferry episode.

If the ratings start to flounder, look at everything that happened after that ferry event occurred (no pun intended)

June 08 2007 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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