Grey’s Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington has announced that with a ‘sense of relief’ he has made the decision to retire from acting
The 58-year-old starred as cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Preston Burke in the long-running medical drama from 2005 until he was dismissed in 2007.
The actor, who began his career collaborating with Spike Lee, was fired after the third season after a controversial row during which he used a homophobic slur while referring to cast member TR Knight.
Washington denied the claim at the time and stated: ‘No, I did not call T.R. a f****t. Never happened, never happened.
‘There is no way I could do anything so vile, and so horrible, not only to a castmate but to a fellow human being.’
On Tuesday, the Exit Wounds actor told his Twitter followers that he was leaving showbusiness, saying he had made the decision with a ‘heavy heart.’
He explained: ‘Those who have been Following/Witnessing my journey here on Twitter since 2011 all know that I have fought the good fight, but it seems that the haters, provocateurs and the Useful Idiots have won.
‘I’m no longer interested in the back and forth regarding a ‘color construct’ that keeps us human beings divided nor am I interested in politics or anything vitriolic.
‘I will be traveling this great country before it falls into Socialism and then Communism. Until then, know that this Frederick Douglass Conservative will keep his powder dry and loves you all! I am truly grateful for your support over the years.’
Speaking about Dempsey, Washington claimed to KBLA Talk 1580: ‘He was not a nice guy from day one. But he liked me and once I had a conversation with him, he said, “Isaiah, do you know that white men are the masters of the universe?” And I said, “You really believe that?” And he said “Absolutely”.’
Washington also alleged that Dempsey ‘terrorised’ Knight and ‘threw Kate Walsh through a window out of anger’ on set.
The Love Jones actor lashed out at Heigl after she called him out for allegedly using the homophonic slur against Knight.
He tweeted in 2020: ‘This woman once proclaimed that I should “never” be allowed to speak publicly again.
‘The world agreed with her proclamation back then and protested for my job and my head in 65 languages. I wish I was on Twitter in 2007, because I will NEVER stop exercising my free speech.’
Heigl has yet to publicly respond to the tweet but a source close to the Knocked Up star told Metro.co.uk at the time: ‘Katherine stood up for her close friend twice when Isaiah publicly outed him and called him a f****t. That’s hate talk, not free speech.
‘She is proud that she stood up for him. Katherine is and always will be an advocate and ally to LGBTQ community.’
Metro.co.uk has previously contacted Patrick Dempsey, Kate Walsh, TR Knight, Katherine Heigl and ABC for comment.
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