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Isaiah Washington: Patrick Dempsey Made Me Use the F-word

Isaiah Washington: Patrick Dempsey Made Me Use the F-word

Isaiah Washington is blaming co-star Patrick Dempsey‘s lateness to the Grey’s Anatomy set for the “brawl” that riled Washington up enough to use a homophobic slur.

Washington spoke up about his experience on Larry King Live and explains that he “regretted not confronting Dempsey the first time he was late, so he challenged him the second time.”

On Dempsey first erupting: “He became unhinged, sprayed spittle in my face. I’m asking him why is he screaming at me. … He just becomes irate.”

On Knight claiming the slur was directed at him: “It’s a lie. He misrepresented himself.” (He says he used the term “faggot” as a synonym for “wimp”.)

On Knight lying to advance his career and to get more money: “He has been very disappointed in playing the character he has been playing. He told me that.”

On repeating the slur backstage at the Golden Globe Awards: “I wish I could take that back.”

On defending his actions: “I am not homophobic – in no way, shape or form.”

Washington fought back years when King asked if any cast members had written to him. Only Sandra Oh had sent him an email…

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Posted to: Isaiah Washington

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  • natalie

    Isaiah needs to MOVE THE HELL ON. Everyone else has.
    What he did was wrong. There’s no use making excuses, especially now that he’s already lost his job.

  • lauren

    he is taking this a little too far.

  • awesome!

    Self-destructive much?

    So… how long until he’s on the Surreal Life?

  • Christina

    That’s awful only Sandra wrote him an email..

  • angie!

    i feel bad for isaiah washington, this got way out of hand and was blown up, its sad that you can get fired for what you say! what happened to freedom of speech? he even did everything they told him to do afterwards….sad! but now we can all just move on i guess…

  • just in time

    he s still sexy as hell i dont no if ill keep watching now thats hes off i.mean wats going to keep this show hot cause the story lines suck wit out kristin and doctor burke….and no more juciy publicity wit out him

  • Sweeney

    I heard he said it’s because people heard a black man’s loud voice and got scared. It’s beacause people heard a loud voice using the word faggot and got pissed. he wants to make it about race instead of what a jerk he is. The only reason he can play an arrogant a-hole is because he is one, he can’t act. Hope we never have to hear from him again

  • Amy

    He did attack Dempsey, and it isn’t his job to confront another actor about being late. That’s the director’s job. It is never any actor’s job to tell another actor what to do. You just up and do your own job.

  • ugghhhhh

    Isaiah and Sandra were the most interesting couple on tv.

    A LOT of people yell on movie/tv sets. It’s very very common. At least he didn’t call Dempsy a white honkey. I am sure that Isaiah is not homophobic.

  • kim

    I believed every word he said. Things were spun in the media. He acknowledged he messed up. Its now time for IW to move to bigger things. He said his peace.

  • ah

    Sorry I don’t think of TR Knight as a leading man, I always thought of him as a supporting cast member.

    This whole thing stinks…I feel bad for Isaiah Washington esp. that TR took advantage of the situation. But things that happen in the dark usually come to light.

  • Jae

    he needs to stop playing the victim card, the race card, and the misunderstood card…grow up and get over it…I doubt that TR sabotaged him simply because he didn’t like his role. I was surprised he said he was fired because people feared a loud black man on the set especially since the show’s producer and creator is black.

    and i’m sorry but angie, people need to start getting fired and facing consequences for what they say, its about time people stop hiding behind their first amendment rights to spread hatred and negative terms towards specific minority groups. and you know if it was TR knight calling him a N***** he would be screaming about it on every news show and calling in the NAACP

  • kc

    This guy has issues with people, period. The more he talks about this, the less people want to work with him. Since he’s going to be unemployable for a while, better go write a book, “Cry Me a River: How I got shafted by a f*****”.

  • Yari

    FOR WHAT CAME FROM YOUR MOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  • ann

    I dont understand why he would get fired just because he used the “f-word” I mean, people say things they don’t mean or before they think. If everyone got punished for what they said, than everyone would be fired. Im not saying that its fine he said that, but come one, what are we, 5 years old? What happened to freedom of speech?

  • Killing Me Softly

    I’m torn about the whole media frenzy over this, AND I feel that he was obviously wrong for saying what he said (twice) and it’s unfortunate that he lost his job. BUT, he chose to lose his cool and he simply needs to accept that it hurt SOME people so deeply that they cannot forgive him and that’s just LIFE. Learn from it, move on. And for all the people (including Bruce Willis) who keep mentioning that it’s sad someone can lose their job because of “what they say”…WHAT WORLD DO YOU LIVE IN? The world I live in, YES I WILL LOSE MY JOB IF I WALKED UP TO ANY CO-WORKER AND CALLED THEM A DEROGATORY NAME or physically/verbally assaulted them in ANY way. In a heartbeat, no questions asked, FIRED. I’ve worked in the corporate world for nearly 14 years, and I can confidently say I’d be fired in EACH & EVERY workplace I’ve worked in if I had an outburst like Isaiah’s. What kind of jobs do y’all have that think this is not a fact of life?

  • myself

    I feel sorry for him…Heigle and Knight (ly?) had no right airing out dirty laundry…it’s classless. None of us were there so we have no right judging who’s right or not.

  • Madi

    If a person who worked in an office strangled an employee and called that person a faggot, whilst a gay person looked on, they would be fired. In the unlikely event that they weren’t fired, if that person later said in a board meeting “I called this gay guy a faggot” they would surely be fired. It had nothing to do with race. This guy is an idiot and should stop crying. Suck it up and move on.

  • Not-a-hater!

    How can this idiot blame someone else for his mistake!!! And plus I doubt if that F– incidence is the only reason why he got fired, i honestly think he is very distuptive and has no respect whatsoever to the crew and his castmates! DUDE! Learn from it and move on…stop ranting ’cause it’s only making you look really bad!!!

  • funny

    everyone’s comments are SO interesting.
    i have said although am very often corrected for not being PC that saying faggot is wrong so i dont say it anymore. but sheessh i know people who say faggot and they mean that someone is a wimp. is ever person in the world suppose to be PC.
    Washington was wrong but its hard to be pc all of the time just try it for a day its really hard. half of the time i dont think people say things to be malice but they just dont think b4 they speak.
    I think its awful that he lost his job.
    Bush called people un-patriotic if they did not agree with the war isnt that wrong?
    Ann coulter called J.Edwards a faggot in a public forum is anyone mad at her has she lost her job? no she has sold more books
    That wack job on sinefield mentioned lynching people and said nigger but he did not lose his job as being a comedian and re-runs of that show still come on tv.

    Washington is angry hell he lost his employment but its not excuse for him not handling the situation properly. i say he should get his job back, but thats just me.

  • Didi


    im sorry its not my fault i have tourettes

    f*dgepacker! c*ckfag! b*tt-pirate!

    ever so’s uncontrollable

    a*se bandit!

    larry king, please help!

  • Julia

    I think this whole thing was blown out of proportion. He apologized, he went to counselling and this was right up TR’s alley. I’m not saying what he did wasn’t wrong but it’s also true that had TR called Isaiah a nigger, they wouldn’t fire him and people would only say that that was inappropriate.
    As far as Dempsey and Washington feud, I think there are fights on set all the time and things throw you off if you’re a director or not and people fight with their colleagues, be it they’re famous or not. If you were working in a team with someone and he was constantly late, would you be quiet and wait for your boss to tell him it’s inappropriate? Come on, people, stop being so holier-than-thou.

  • Stella

    I agree with funny. Isiah is a very good actor (especially compared to T.R.). He does have a right to be angry because he did everything that was requested of him and he still lost his job. But if I was him I would stop talking about it. You don’t want to be seen as a complainer in Hollywood. He needs to move on and learn how to play the game. Grey’s Anatomy has only a few season left before being canceled.

  • 2985

    I think by going on Larry King he certainly didn’t help help himself…stop digging your own career grave! Maybe he thought by going on LK he would be able to explain himself better, but it backfired I think.

  • Audrey

    I agree that TR really took advantage of the situation. He hid in the closet b/c he was worried it might hurt his career. Then just b/c someone used the F word, he claimed he had no choice but to come out. That’s bullsh*t. I don’t know how one person calling another the F word during a heated argument had anything to do with him. Then, he and Heigl lashed out against Isaiah every chance they got. Personally, I think they are both annoying. I stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy a long time ago. I definitely won’t watch it ever again now that the Christina/Burke relationship is over. TR was a coward. Using someone else to advance your career will come back to bit you in the ass, TR.

  • shopgirl

    Keep talking’re digging your own (career) grave..

  • K

    Lol@ 21

  • Sara

    I definitely feel sorry for Isaiah, and I cannot BELIEVE that ABC would write off a central character like Dr. Burke (who could act the hell out of a dramatic AND comedic scene) because of some stupid, whiny kid like T.R. Knight.

    I think that T.R. is the one who is unhappy in his position on the show and caused all this controversy… it did seem like after Isaiah’s “rehab” America had moved on and everything was going to be okay. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it worked out.

    I really hope he gets some good roles coming up here!! He deserves it. I loved watching him on Grey’s.

  • V

    This whole thing sucks as “Grey’s Anatomy”.

    BTW, really don’t like George and Izzie together in the show.

    The character “George” … such a wuss!

    For Isaiah, be a man, stop whining, people made mistakes all the time, you got to move on. Otherwise, your whole career will be shitty like this.

  • mj

    Dr. Burke is gone—–so am I !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is an incredible actor and the story line with him and Sandra Oh was the best thing about the show. Meredith, T.R. and Katherine Heigle over act and are just annoying. Goodbye Greys! I loved you when you first came on the scene but now ??????? Hope to see Isaiha on bigger and better things soon.

  • jeann

    AND ironically T.R. Knight IS THE WORST.

  • nika

    lmao didi.
    I feel sorry for isaiah, but media do make it worse than already it is. He made a mistake, or several, he admitted and now its time to move on, let things go. That is, before he loses his acting career or something.

  • Davidson

    He should not have been fired. He didn’t even use it against TR.

  • Um

    its sad that you can get fired for what you say!

    He didn’t get fired for what he said and he knows it. His contract wasn’t renewed because unfortunetly he was a problem on set and with his fellow actors. Washington has a Looooooooooooooog history of bad behavior, when working. He wanted to be top dog and he wasn’t/isn’t. Patrick Dempsey is and his ego couldn’t stand it. Now. He’s out of a job. Idiot

  • K

    why was Patrick Dempsey late let us explore that. what a fagget

    oops my mistake.

  • kim

    The only thing I got out of the Larry King interview is that Isaiah is insanely jealous of Patrick Dempsey, and he hates TR Knight.

  • booyah

    I’m so not watching Grey’s anymore.
    1.Burke’s gone
    2.George and Izzie are together. eww
    3.Burke’s gone

    I watched the interview.
    I think everything got blown way outta porportion.
    He shouldn’t have been fired!!

    T.R outed himself.
    He brought alot of attention to it…ALOT

    It’s stupid

  • piper, with a low

    I never watched Grey’s Anatomy, mainly because it centered on whiny Meredith, who reminded me too much of Ally McBeal, but I did watch Isaiah Washington on Larry King. I do buy that he was played by ABC. And it doesn’t help that the National Enquirer were the ones who ‘broke’ the story. IMO, I think that it’s entirely possible that he lost his job because he made the mistake of paying attention to the tabloids and blogs. And I do think that Katherine Heigl’s ‘defense’ and ‘protectiveness’ toward T.R. was motivated by her own ambition.

    I really have no opinion on T.R. although from the clips I’ve seen, his character is a total wimp. And there is nothing worse than having some wimp walk all over you, hence the reason why I will never Grey’s Anatomy.

    I do agree that Isaiah doesn’t need to say anymore, but the dude has the right to say something. It’s just like when people said that Star Jones should stop talking about her firing; she only talked about it twice. Meanwhile, Matenopoulus will bring up her firing and her feelings of betrayal anytime Star Jones is brought up; it was nearly 10 years ago when she was drummed out of The View. But again, some people have the luxury of ‘venting’ while others are labeled as sore losers or poor team players.

  • Um

    36 kim : 07/03/2007 at 7:41 am

    The only thing I got out of the Larry King interview is that Isaiah is insanely jealous of Patrick Dempsey, and he hates TR Knight.

    Exactly! He made a fool out of himself on LKL. Even King kept saying if what you say is true then what is the issue? And why would TR Knight say the things he said?

  • Um

    some people have the luxury of ‘venting’ while others are labeled as sore losers or poor team players.

    You didn’t watch the interview so you have no idea how obvious it was that he was lying. He’s claiming that TR Knight was talking smack about Patrick Dempsey and that Knight felt he wasn’t treated properly by Dempsey to TR Kight misspoke on Ellen. GMAFB. Again, people are missing the point. He wasn’t fired for what he said. He was fired because of his behavior and he knows it.

  • Rose

    I think some of you people just needs someone to rag on or you don’t want to change your opinion of someone you previously vilified. He seemed very sincere and no one is perfect. He’s a great actor and I hope he finds continued success and I hope the other cowards on his show get what they deserve.

  • Well

    What Washington didn’t discuss on Larry King Live was the fact that Shonda could only protect him for so long. Washington was a problem on the set and specifically with the women on the set since day one. He was told/warned repeatedly about his inappropriate behavior. This was just the icing on the cake and Shondra could not protect him anymore and ABC/Disney wanted him gone. He said one thing right, you don’t mess with the Mouse. Disney has very strict policies and procedures concerning employees, ALL employee behavior. He couldn’t even put a clear thought together on Larry King last night. Does anyone really believe that meek and mild TR Kight is some devious pr mastermind who took it upon himself to destroy Washington’s career and get him off the show? To what end?

    Washington is jealous of Dempsey but he has more respect for him because Dempsey got in his face and challenged him. He has sheer distaste for TR Knight and wants him fired. So, if Patrick was the cause of all this why does he believe Knight should go?

    Washington is lying through his ever lovin’ teeth

  • tanique33

    what a ridiculous heading. no he didn’t say he “Made” him use it. far from it. he took responsibility for all he said.

    tr got to tell his “truth” and now he got to tell his. it’s funny people say he keeps talking about it, and he NEVER got into what actually happene because they gagged him.

    so, i’m not sure when he keeps talking about what happened. just because TR was able to talk right after the events, doesn’t make IW side any less valid.

  • Tracy

    First Amendment rights have NOTHING to do with not losing your job. You have the right to say whatever you want, but your employer also has the right to fire you for it. The man got in a physical confrontation, and then shouted so the entire set could hear it, “I’m not your fa**ot, like T.R.” It’s moronic semantics for IW to decide that that’s NOT calling T.R. a f**got. It clearly is. And any of us in the U.S. would’ve been fired for it.

  • dali

    I love the way people comment like they were on the set. If IW was such a problem on the set then ABC would have fired him for cause a long time ago. If he has this long history of being difficult then why even hire him? He came across as totally sincere and apologetic for his part in the drama. He has the right to clear his name and give his side of the story. Anyone who is honest will admit that the context in which he used the word was in no way homophobic, and if TR and KH lied, then they will get theirs.

  • Tracy

    but it’s also true that had TR called Isaiah a ******, they wouldn’t fire him and people would only say that that was inappropriate.


    Are you serious? T.R. would’ve been fired for that in a heartbeat. Look at what happened to Don Imus and Michael Richards. People would definitely not just brush aside a white man calling a black co-star a n**ger. The fact that so many people think that TR was whiny or manipulative in this situation is just proof of how prevalent homophobia still is today. Somehow IW being a huge asshole is TR’s fault for not just putting up with it.

  • Well

    45 dali : 07/03/2007 at 8:44 am

    I love the way people comment like they were on the set. If IW was such a problem on the set then ABC would have fired him for cause a long time ago.

    You obviously aren’t in a supervisory/management position. What you do is warn the employee, address the problem/issue and then give them an action plan so they can modify their behavior. Go read your company handbook.

    There wasn’t a sincere bone in his body. He’s p*ssed because TR Knight still has a job and he doesn’t. For him to drag Dempsey into the whole thing making it about Dempsey allegedly being late is absurd.

    Washington couldn’t even answer the questions being asked of him. He’s a fool and a tool

  • gini

    bad liar

  • ilikehim

    i think knight should have been fired because between him and washington, washington is the better actor. knight can’t act and he’s not a good looking guy…i honestly don’t believe he could get all the girls he got on the show!

  • Well

    44 Tracy : 07/03/2007 at 8:42 am

    First Amendment rights have NOTHING to do with not losing your job.
    Right. Unless you have a contract you are an employee at will. Washington had a contract and they opted not to renew it. They could of gotten rid of him sooner if they wanted to but he gave the appearance of trying to make amends. He couldn’t control himself or his ego and what went down at the GG’s was the nail in his own coffin

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