I am conflicted on this topic, I have read the articles relating to this incident and Isaiah was definitely in the wrong. I support the notion that he was fired because he was a risk, he has made homophobic slurs several times, not just initially, but he chose to make the “mistake” again. I realize that he himself is a man who worked hard to get where he is, and I wish him nothing but the best in the future, I just hope he shows more restraint, and I hope he really believes the things he was saying is the PSA speaking on hate speech, and thinks about it.
Personally, I am a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, it is a successful show, and there has been a lot of controversy and arguments since this has happened, I feel that if Washington had stayed on there would be more of this in the future. This would in turn hurt the show. No production team or employer is going to keep someone on who they think is going to be a negative asset.
As for Washington’s character, Preston Burke, he was a very big part of the show for the last 3 seasons, and an important character. As I look back, I can see where this may have been coming for a while, and it was pretty much sealed in the season finale when Burke left Cristina at the church, then picked up all of his important items and left her with the apartment. The past season was a very challenging one for the couple, and it only seemed to escalate, so I definitely feel that while I was disappointed when he left her, I can see now, that it was really a perfect ending for them, in the light of him being fired, it will not be hard to explain his departure because he left at the end of the season.
So, should he have been fired? Yes, because he is a liability to the show and its producers. No, because he was a valuable, talented addition to the cast. Sometimes the negative affects just outweigh the positive, especially in an industry that is so competitive, there are so many actors who would do anything for a role like this, you just can’t take it for granted, you have to stay somewhat grounded and keep a check on your temper.
As I said, I do not believe that Isaiah Washington should lose his career, but I think that this should be a lesson to him and other actors, to think before they speak, and just to show restraint towards the people they work with. Face it, if a business person verbally attacked someone on the job they wouldn’t go unpunished, depending on company policies, they may even be fired, so why should this be any different?
In response to ongoing build up of this story I just want to add a few comments.
The more I read interviews with Washington the less and less respect I have for him, he is throwing blame to Patrick Dempsey, supposedly the reason he “flipped” out and said the things he said was because Dempsey was late for shooting. So now he doesn’t even seem to be taking responsibility. I really don’t think this move is a good one on his part for his career. If he would just own his responsibility and say “I did wrong” and just move on and work on getting a great new role, all he needs to do is put all this anger and energy into looking for his next part and then portraying it, he would be set. I just see him digging a deeper and deeper grave for his career, he is really looking like a jerk. I am anxious to see if any of the Grey’s Anatomy cast will speak up on the way Washington is acting, especially Dempsey, since he is the one being blamed for the whole thing breaking out. At this point, it looks like Washington is the only person still dwelling over what happened. He really just needs to move on, he paid his dues, and he will most likely continue to have to prove himself, but he certainly isn’t helping his case.