Isaiah Washington Talks Fight With Patrick Dempsey That Led To His Firing

Isaiah Washington performed Preston Burke in ABC’s Gray’s Anatomy. The actor performed Cristina Yang’s love curiosity and mentor within the first few seasons. After season 3, Washington departed from the present. Dr. Burke’s sudden exit from Seattle Grace shocked many followers. However, there may be an unsettling motive behind Washington’s departure from the medical drama. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ dropped Isaiah Washington 

Isaiah Washington | Karen Neal/Disney Normal Leisure Content material by way of Getty Photographs

In 2007, Washington was fired from Gray’s Anatomy after the third season. The actor was accused of utilizing a homophobic slur towards his overtly homosexual co-star, T.R Knight. The controversy resurfaced on the 2007 Golden Globes. In the course of the award present press convention, Washington mentioned: “No, I did not call T.R. a f*****. Never happened, never happened.” 

Washington later issued an apology for utilizing the slur towards Knight. Nevertheless, in June 2007, ABC didn’t renew the actors contract, and he was dropped from the present. At first, he believed race performed an enormous position within the firing. 

In an interview with The Washington Post, he thought his race was a think about ABC’s determination. “My mistake was believing that I would get the support from my network and all of my castmates across the board,” he mentioned. “My mistake was thinking black people get second chances. I was wrong on all fronts.” 

Washington and Dempsey fought behind the scenes

Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington as Derek Shepherd and Preston Burke on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Scott Garfield/Disney Normal Leisure Content material by way of Getty Photographs

In a brand new tell-all ebook titled How you can Save a Life: The Inside Story of Gray’s Anatomy, Leisure Weekly editor Lynette Rice particulars a heated altercation between Washington and Patrick Dempsey. As well as, the ebook states that the argument led to the actor making the insult. 

Gray’s Anatomy producer Mark Wilding recalled the incident on set. “It was my episode,” he mentioned within the ebook. “I think one of them had been late to set one day, and the other one then decided to pay him back by being late himself. Then it sort of exploded. They got into an arguing match, and then before you know it, they were physically fighting.”

Harry Werksman, one other author from the present, additionally witnessed the argument. “Isaiah, for whatever reason that day, just took that the wrong way, and he went after Patrick,” he mentioned. “I guess he felt disrespected that he and the crew had been waiting.”

He continued, “He went after Patrick, pushed him up against the wall, and said, ‘You can’t talk to me the way you talk to that little f***** T.R.’ ”   

Marty Carrillo, a crew member on the present, instructed Rice: “Everyone knew T.R. was gay. For some reason, Isaiah just lost it and pinned Patrick up against the wall. You could see Isaiah’s pupils go wide, like, ‘What did I do?’ It was quiet. Everyone had to leave the set.” 

The altercation led to Washington’s firing and, in flip, led to his character being written off Gray’s Anatomy.

Preston Burke returns to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

In 2014, Washington returned for one episode in Gray’s Anatomy Season 10. In keeping with People, the actor got here again to ship off former co-star Sandra Oh. The 2 performed love pursuits on the present. Additionally, their characters have been engaged to get married. However, Cristina left Burke on the altar in season 3. 

“It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should,” creator Shonda Rhimes mentioned on the time. “Burke is vital to that journey – he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang properly.”

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