ABOVE PHOTO: Isaiah Washington from the film “Blue Caprice,” poses for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at the Fender Music Lodge, on Friday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Park City, Utah.
(Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP Images)
By Barry Burch Jr.
YOur black world
Isaiah Washington, best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on ABC medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy” from 2005 to 2007, claims that after expressing anti-gay sentiments, which ultimately led to his conclusion on the show, he was forced out of Hollywood.
Washington, who has also appeared in several Spike Lee films, told Huffpost Live that the backlash from his comments was much more than trivial disagreements. In an interview with the live-streaming network, the actor said that no one “wanted to touch me.”
It’s hard to say if Washington would do it all over again if he had the chance. “It” being the inflammatory and derogatory term he repeatedly used in 2007. The 50-year-old actor’s demise began after using the word “f**got” in a dispute with Patrick Dempsey on the “Grey’s Anatomy” set, as reported by Essence.com. He was referring to T.R. Knight, who eventually came out as gay. To make matters worse, Washington used the term again backstage at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards.
Washington went from the top to the bottom using one word, two times. He claims that a little flak from the incident would have been one thing, but that he was instead blacklisted, and no one in Hollywood would even dare mention his name.
“I lost everything. I couldn’t afford to have an agent,” Washington explained. “I couldn’t afford to have a publicist . . . I couldn’t afford to continue.”
Despite hardships, Washington has made his way back to the movie-set; he stars in “Blue Caprice. (see Kam Williams’s review of Blue Caprice in Entertainment). The film was inspired by the Beltway sniper attacks, during which two men, John Muhammed (Isaiah Washington) and Lee Malvo (Tequan Richmond), conducted a siege of terror on the Washington D.C. area.
Washington says that his time away from the spotlight allowed him to become a better man. He proclaimed, “I became a better husband, a better father and a better artist.”