The Grey's Anatomy slander scandal keeps on going.
When show actor Isaiah Washington told reporters backstage last Monday night at the Golden Globes that he "never called [costar T.R. Knight] a faggot," he reignited a fury that could now cost him his job. Washington made the Globes comment when he was asked about an incident that occurred on the Grey's set in October, in which he allegedly threw the same slur at Knight and physically assaulted costar Patrick Dempsey.
The week following the Globes saw Washington release a statement of apology and ABC release a statement saying the network has "a long-standing policy to create and maintain respectful workplaces" and wouldn't tolerate actions like Washington's.
Despite the public apologies, the actor's job may be in jeopardy. Although ratings for the show hadn't dipped last week, an executive at ABC parent Disney has acknowledged the company is mulling firing Washington. The anonymous executive said in Sunday's New York Times that Washington's behavior may run afoul of Disney's antidiscrimination policy.
In the meantime, Washington has fired his publicist and hired another who specializes in "crisis management." Washington is scheduled to meet with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network--GLSEN--to assist in the organization's No Name Calling Week, which targets school kids.
"We are encouraged by the apparent sincerity of Isaiah Washington's apology and his recognition of the power of a word that, like so many others, has no place in our society," GLSEN head Kevin Jennings said in a statement. "We would like to thank Isaiah and ABC for reaching out to GLSEN in what hopefully will be an important step in the healing process for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and all those who were offended by the remarks."
This week, Washington is also slated to meet Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
"We are encouraged by Isaiah Washington's statement and optimistic that it may mark a turning point in this deeply troubling situation," Giuliano said. "His acknowledgment of his actions and of the hurt and harm his actions have caused is an important first step toward healing his relationships with his castmates, his fans and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."
After the on-set fracas in October, Knight came out publicly that he was gay. Soon after, the cast appeared on Oprah and everything appeared to be smoothed over. After the Golden Globes revisit of the event, Grey's costar Katherine Heigl said she was disgusted with Washington.