The cast of the popular ABC hospital drama “Grey’s Anatomy” has been under the examination light lately, and not for the show’s recent Golden Globes win. The most recent Grey’s Anatomy controversy has centered largely on Isaiah Washington, who allegedly made an insulting remark about the sexual status of his costar T.R. Knight.
Back in October 2006, rumors of an on-set fight forced Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight to confess to People.com that he was gay. Isaiah Washington supposedly outed T.R. Knight, the beloved goofy-haired and sweet-faced George, when the man who plays Dr. Preston Burke fought with Dr. McDreamy’s Patrick Dempsey and George came to McDreamy’s rescue.
The National Enquirer quoted Washington as saying some very unsavory things about T.R. Knight, who back then told People, “I hope the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.”
Adding further insult to injury, Isaiah Washington repeated the anti-gay slur once more to reporters the night of the Golden Globes win, when he denied ever making the slur in the first place.
T.R. Knight quickly did an appearance on the Ellen Show, confirmation that Isaiah Washington did in fact hurt the insult. Isaiah, under pressure from GLAAD and other organizations calling for his firing from the highly-viewed drama, issued a statement apologizing for his behavior and promising to seek help.
And that help has apparently begun today, according to ET, who confirmed that Washington has begun counseling by entering “a residential treatment facility for a ‘psychological assessment’ after talks with ABC executives.”
In a statement Washington said: “With the support of my family and friends, I have begun counseling. I regard this as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again. I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity and I remain committed to transforming my negative actions into positive results, personally and professionally.”
Executive producer and show creator Shonda Rhimes issued a statement of her own this afternoon:
“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.
“We’ve been working within the ‘Grey’s’ family as well as with ABC and Touchstone Television to address the issue in a way that underscores the gravity of the situation while giving us all a foundation for healing. We applaud and encourage Isaiah’s realization that he needs help and his subsequent choice to seek immediate treatment for his behavioral issues.
“We appreciate the support the fans have always given our show, particularly during this stressful time. Creatively, we continue to strive to make the best television we can with the hope that our show reflects the talent, hard work and professionalism of our cast and crew.”