I feel for Isaiah Washington. It’s not easy to not only be removed from one of the hottest shows in ABC’s history, but to be branded as a homophobe as well. Given all that Mr. Washington has done on Grey's Anatomy to end his time there, the last place I think he'd want to be is back on the show.
However, as highlighted at TV Guide online, Isaiah is not one to hold his tongue. Interviewed around the time that Brooke Smith was fired from the show, Washington was quick to point out the irony in the circumstances surrounding her removal from the show and his removal from the show.
“For her to be treated this way I find very interesting…” said Washington in the soon-to-be released Nov. 17 edition of the magazine. “You look at the way another consummate professional’s being treated because her character, her story line, potentially made producers uncomfortable.” The “uncomfortable” part that Isaiah Washington is referring to is Brooke Smith’s character, Dr. Erica Hahn, being removed from the series because of ABC allegedly being uncomfortable with a lesbian romance between her character and Sara Ramirez’s character, Callie Torres.
Isaiah, who for three years played Dr. Preston Burke on the show, was let go at the end of the third season, at least in part, for allegedly calling T.R. Knight, who plays Dr. George O'Malley, a “faggot." During the same interview with TV Guide, Washington was asked if he would return to the show despite everything that happened. “Absolutely!” he responded. He even exclaimed, "Bring Burke back!"
Is this man nuts?
If an actor or actress on television has a problem with a particular show (or vice versa), it’s hardly likely that that actor or actress will be invited back. I look at David Caruso as the best example of this. After he got famous during his short stint on NYPD Blue, he started acting out in the same way that Washington did – sans the homophobic comment. The result was a natural one – he was written out in the first few episodes of the second season.
Although the David Caruso example has a different specific set of circumstances to it, the result is about the same. He wasn’t asked back, not even during the last season of the show. When the producers thought to bring back an old cast member, Jimmy Smits was brought back instead, as a ghost.
A ghost was a better idea to them than David Caruso. That’s telling right there.
Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t want you any more, Mr. Washington, move on.