The drama at Seattle Grace hospital may be the thing that keeps viewers returning week after week to Grey's Anatomy, but it's the drama behind the scenes that is particularly steamy.
Isaiah Washington, who plays Doctor Preston Burke on the show, will not be returning to the show next season, ABC reps have confirmed. ABC Studios has decided not to renew the option on the actor's contract, effectively booting him from the cast.
ABC is not releasing any official statement on the reason for the decision, but Washington has been in hot water since an on-set altercation last October was made public. During the fracas, Washington and fellow cast member Patrick Dempsey reportedly came to blows after Washington called T.R. Knight--who plays George O'Malley on the show--a homophobic slur. Knight publicly came out of the closet shortly after the incident.
Washington tried to make amends by going to counseling and doing a public service announcement. However, he repeated the slur while defending himself at January's Golden Globes, stoking the controversy once again.
While Washington is on his way out, Knight is on his way back. ABC has picked up the actor's option and offered him a per-episode salary of $125,000, says EW.com.