Actor Isaiah Washington, fired from ABC TV program Gray’s Anatomy, one of the top-rated shows on television, for calling a fellow actor a "faggot," may soon have a new job.
Washington is in reportedly "sorting through" numerous offers of television and movie projects, and is leaning toward an undisclosed opportunity at NBC.
Meanwhile, Washington has argued that the offended actor, T. R. Knight, used the incident to exploit a pro-homosexual spirit in Hollywood in order to bolster his own position on the show.
After his firing from Gray’s Anatomy, one of the most popular shows on television last year, Washington hit back with claims that the actor about whom he had used the word had exploited the incident in order to strengthen his position at the program.
"They fired the wrong guy," the 43-year-old actor said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
He blames former cast mate T.R. Knight for stoking the scandal that led him to lose his role in the ABC hit. Knight is the one who should have been let go, he told the newspaper.
Shortly after the incident, in which Washington referred to Knight as a "faggot" in the third person in a conversation with a third party at which Knight was not present, Knight admitted that he was a homosexual, in a clearly overdramatized public statement. He then went on a tour of sympathetic TV programs such as the Ellen DeGeneres Show to drum up support for himself as a victim of a purported hate crime.
It worked, as Knight eventually received a pay raise for his work on the show. Washington was fired.
Washington says that Knight lied about the encounter, falsely claiming that it was public instead of private, in order to increase the amount of sympathy for him within the industry, where support for homosexuality is an absolute requirement:
Knight, who announced soon after the initial fracas that he was gay, told talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in January that Washington used the slur against him and that "everyone (on the set) heard" him do so.
"That’s a lie," Washington told the Chronicle. "I used the word during a disagreement with Patrick. I apologized for that. We shook hands and went back to work."
Having apologized repeatedly for using the offending term, and even doing a public service announcement saying that "words have power," Washington appears to be putting his career back in order. Reuters reports:
Recently axed "" co-star Isaiah Washington has been in preliminary discussions with NBC about a deal, although the talks have stalled, according to people familiar with the situation.
It was not clear whether NBC was interested in bringing the outspoken actor onto an existing series or casting him in a new project.
Washington said that he is not angry with ABC for firing him, but is instead "disappointed."