Isaiah Washington Is Returning to Grey's Anatomy After 2007 Firing, Homophobic Slur Scandal

Entertainment Mar. 7, 2014 AT 9:55AM
Isaiah Washington on "Grey's Anatomy" Isaiah Washington will return to Grey's Anatomy seven years after he was fired from the ABC drama for directing a homophobic slur at then-costar T.R. Knight Credit: ABC via Getty Images

Paging Dr. Burke! Isaiah Washington is returning to Grey's Anatomy seven years after he was fired from the medical drama, the Hollywood Reporter reports. The actor is set to guest star in an upcoming May episode.

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Washington, who is best-known for originating the role of Dr. Preston Burke in 2005, will play a different role to help say goodbye to Sandra Oh's character, Cristina Yang. Back in August 2013, it was confirmed that the actress would be leaving the ABC series after its tenth season. Washington and Oh played onscreen love interests until Washington's abrupt exit in 2007.

"It's important to me that Cristina's journey unfolds exactly as it should," Grey's showrunner Shonda Rhimes tells THR. "Burke is vital to that journey -- he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang."

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Washington, 50, was famously fired from the series for directing homophobic slurs toward his then-costar T.R. Knight, who played Dr. George O'Malley. During an on-set argument, the actor called Knight a "f---ot" and used the derogatory term once again at the Golden Globes. Knight later came out as gay, and tied the knot with boyfriend Patrick in October 2013.

"After the incident at the Golden Globes, everything just fell apart," Washington said in an interview with The Huffington Post in September 2013.

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"I lost everything. I couldn't afford to have an agent …I couldn't afford to have a publicist…I couldn't afford to continue." 

"For the last six years of my life, I've been fighting off bigots," he told The New York Times that same month. "It's, like, bigots want to embrace me, and I politely take their arms from around my neck. I don't share their views, never have."

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