No Such Nonsense

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Isaiah Washington: Gainfully Employed Homophobe

Okay, if you or I were to use a particularly inflammatory, derogatory term in the workplace - specifically in reference to a coworker - we probably wouldn't be fired right away either. Oh, we'd be in trouble. It'd go in the HR file, that's for sure. Especially if we used the term while engaged in a shoving match with another co-worker. I'm pretty sure that would be frowned upon. And if we repeated the slur in a public forum, while denying we said it in the first place - embarrassing our bosses and angering our peers in the process? Well then, my friends, we'd likely be shown the door. Unless, it appears, we happened to work for Grey's Anatomy.

Words are loaded things. Ask Mel Gibson. Or Michael Richards. But don't ask Isaiah Washington, because he clearly doesn't get it. And he doesn't get it because he didn't have to. Washington got in a shoving match with McDreamy Patrick Dempsey and, in the heat of the moment, called co-star TR Knight a faggot. Reports got out in the press, TR Knight came out of the closet and absolutely nothing happened to Washington. Producers and co-stars closed ranks, arguing that the incident was blown out of proportion, that the media had reports wrong. And the whole thing seemed like it would just go away.

Except that Washington really had said it. He used a hateful word to denigrate his coworker and his bosses just swept it under the rug.

And it would have stayed that way except an emboldened and likely tipsy Washington repeated the slur at the Golden Globes in the midst of denying he said it in the first place. Dumbass, really. At that point, co-stars Katherine Heigl and TR Knight stopped protecting Washington and called him out publicly for his actions. And it was only then - in the face a rising public backlash - that ABC forced Washington to apologize and producer Shondra Rhimes finally issued a statement on the matter. Now, had Dempsey been the one throwing epithets - and he had laid out a certain word relating to Washington's race, I wonder if it would have been excused so lightly. 'cause racism is evil but homophobia, well that's okay as long you're on a hit show.


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