Several cast and crew members from Grey’s Anatomy have given more details about the alleged incident that resulted in Isaiah Washington leaving the program.
In Lynette Rice’s recently released book How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, it was noted that a fight between the performer and his castmate, Patrick Dempsey, resulted in the former uttering a homophobic slur.
In the publication, writer Mark Wilding expressed via People that he had been on set during the incident, which was set off by both actors being tardy for filming.
An inside look: A new Grey’s Anatomy tell-all book has detailed the controversial incident that led to Isaiah Washington being fired for using a homophobic slur; he is seen in 2018
‘It was my episode. 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,’ he noted.
DailyMail.com has reached to reps for Washington for comment.
The writer also expressed that the two quickly started a fistfight and that, although he could have broken the two up, he was not interested in risking his safety.
‘They got into an arguing match, and then before you know it they were physically fighting….I’m, like, six feet four inches. I’m bigger than both of them. But I didn’t really jump in right away because I’m like, I don’t know if I want to get involved.’
Series writer Harry Werksman, who was also on set during the incident, expressed that the 58-year-old actor was particularly troubled by Dempsey’s behavior.
Quick escalation: Writer Mark Wilding expressed that Washington and Dempsey ‘got into an arguing match, and then before you know it they were physically fighting’; the latter is seen in 2019
‘Isaiah, for whatever reason that day, just took that the wrong way and he went after Patrick. I guess he felt disrespected that he and the crew had been waiting,’ he noted.
The writer then expressed that Washington then verbally confronted his castmate and compared his treatment to that of their costar, T. R. Knight, before he uttered the slur.
He recalled that the actor ‘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 Carillo then spoke about how the incident seemingly happened out of nowhere and that the cast and crew somberly departed the production area following the fight.
Inappropriate language: Writer Barry Werksman recalled that Washington ‘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”‘; the actor is seen earlier this month
‘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,’ he recalled.
Both Washington and Dempsey were interviewed for the book, and the former pointed out that his behavior was used as an example of what not to do on set.
‘We learned that we [had] to watch what we say. We [had] to make sure we [were] more accountable,’ he expressed.
The latter then noted that, although the incident led to his former castmate’s firing, the incident also served to strengthen the cast and crew’s resolve moving forward.
Taking responsibility: Washington later stated that the incident forced the cast and crew members ‘to make sure we [were] more accountable’ for their actions; Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo are seen in 2013
‘I think the explosion really healed the show. No one passed the buck, and everyone owned up to the situation and moved on,’ he said.
Washington was the subject of criticism for his actions after the incident and found himself as the center of attention during a press room event for the 2007 Golden Globes, where he used the slur while denying that he referred to Knight as such.
He also claimed that he and Dempsey had mended their differences following their fight, although many of his castmates continued to criticize his behavior.
Katherine Heigl also spoke about how she recently discussed the incident with Knight, who was reportedly indebted to her for supporting him after the fight.
Being honest: Dempsey also expressed that ‘the explosion really healed the show…everyone owned up to the situation and moved on’; he is pictured in 2005
‘He said…hat he was so grateful because no one had ever stood up for him that way before. So that is a proud moment for me. I don’t regret it,’ she said.
Washington was let go from the program following the fight, although he later returned to the show for a cameo appearance in 2014.
In the book, the performer expressed that he thought that the incident had been addressed prior to his firing.
‘I came back under great stress, and thought I was doing the job I was hired to do. I thought that was going to speak for my future at Grey’s, but apparently that wasn’t the same vision that the network and studio had for me,’ he said.
Future efforts: Washington was let go from the program following the incident, although he was later brought back for a cameo appearance