Monthly Archives: October 2006

“That Fag!”

Is network television as clueless as the RNC ?

Grey’s Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington has issued an apology in a statement exclusive to PEOPLE for his behavior during an on-set argument with costar Patrick Dempsey.

“I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set,” Washington, 43, says in the statement. “Both are beneath my own personal standards. … I have nothing but respect for my coworkers … and have apologized personally to everyone involved.”

“Everyone”meaning who exactly? Far be it from Washington to say. Far be it from anyone at Grey’s Anatomy or ABC to clarify.

After Washington and Dempsey, 40, clashed on Oct. 9, reports surfaced that Washington had used a homophobic slur during the fracas. Then on Oct. 19, their costar T.R. Knight disclosed to PEOPLE that he is gay. “I’d like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there,” he said in a statement, adding, “I hope the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.”

Actually the most interesting thing about T.R. Knight is the fact that he has guts. Washington called him “that fag,” and Knight stood up for himself. Twenty years ago gay actors –closeted or un — would have stayed silent. Major props to night for refusing to be treated like shit by a piece of shit.

“Fallout from the turmoil has sparked talk of everything from hasty script rewrites of an impending onscreen fight scene (not true, says show creator Shonda Rhimes) to rumors that Washington would be fired, possibly to be replaced by former ER star Eriq La Salle.”

Good idea.

“I found (those rumors) not only ridiculous but offensive that we would consider replacing a member of our family,” Rhimes tells PEOPLE. “And also the (idea) that one black man was interchangeable with another seemed disturbing to me.”

Is that so? So if T.R. Knight leaves you’re not going to replace him with Jack Plotnik, eh?
How admirable.

Rhimes also dismisses speculation that the mood on the set has been unusually tense. “The mood’s what the mood’s always been,” she says. “We have a group of people who are more of a family than anything else. We have our fun days, and we have our days when people are tired and the work is hard.”

And we have our days when we have to lie through our teeth — right dear?

On Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Grey’s costar Katherine Heigl played down the incident, calling it “some scuffle … There was a little burst of testosterone in the room, and then within five minutes … they were totally fine.”

Washington was scheduled to tape an interview with DeGeneres on Tuesday to air Wednesday, but canceled – citing a scheduling conflict – after Heigl jokingly warned DeGeneres to “step back” during Washington’s appearance, USA Today reports.

Washington’s such a coward he won’t even do Ellen.

“So what actually happened between Washington and Dempsey? A set source says that when Knight, 33, was late to film a scene, a debate ensued between Dempsey and Washington, with Dempsey insisting on waiting for Knight before starting the scene. The argument quickly intensified, and the source says that yes, the alleged slur was used, but Knight was not present at the time.”

Oh, so that makes it better, right? Why won’t Washington call Knight a “fag” to his face?
Maybe he should have hoisted a few with Mel Gibson first.

“Isaiah was running his mouth off,” says the source. “Isaiah verbally attacked Patrick – he tore into him. Patrick’s voice escalated and he did tell Isaiah to ‘f– off, (but) that was as heated as Patrick got.”

Today, Rhimes tells PEOPLE, Dempsey and Washington “are fine” – as are Washington and Knight. “They’ve had conversations,” says Rhimes. “They did a really great scene together the other day.” The whole affair, she says, “was four and a half seconds of one day in three years. I feel like we’ve already moved on.”

How nice for you.

We’ll be sure to let you know when the rest of us have “moved on.”