Have you had McEnough of Isaiah-gate already?

I’ve been blogging about Isaiah-gate since last October, and I’ve got to admit it: last night’s announcement that Isaiah Washington won’t be returning to Grey’s Anatomy next season has me feeling, well, not much of anything. Mostly, I’m exhausted from reading, thinking, and talking about the whole behind-the-scenes mess. Sure, on some level, this kerfuffle and its fallout raise important and interesting questions: What kind of language and behavior in the workplace crosses the line from unacceptable to fire-able? (I’ve tried to imagine how uncomfortable I’d feel working along someone who dropped an enraged ‘f*****’ bomb in my direction during a physical altercation with a third party.) For us consumers of pop culture, at what point does a celebrity’s off-camera behavior get in the way of our ability to enjoy and appreciate his or her work? (Being completely honest, I’ve not only remained a faithful Grey’s viewer for the past season, but one who’s been fully invested in Washington’s Burke-Cristina storyline.) Where does Washington’s alleged bad act fall on the scale of Mel Gibson’s sexist, anti-Semitic rant and Paris Hilton’s DUI arrest — and in that context, does his subsequent punishment seem fitting?

Washington certainly hasn’t helped his own case, given the sluggishness of his public apology, his second use of ‘f*****’ at the Golden Globe awards, his lackluster PSA, and especially the statement his publicist issued last night (a quote from the 1976 film Network): "I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore." Seriously? I mean, why didn’t someone on Washington’s team dissuade him from releasing such a loopy parting shot? And does he really think that now is the time to choose defiance over contrition? Anyhow, I’ve blogged my last about this brouhaha, so I pass the podium to you, PopWatchers, to have the final word.


Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • GeeMoney

    Finally everyone can stop talking about this whole Isaiah Washington ordeal. I don’t care that he got fired. I just care about what’s going to happen to George next season…. the horroe of him havign to repeat his entire year over! AAGGGH! But you know, they’ll probably figure out a way for him to get around it.

  • Stephen

    I do not condone homophobia in any way, shape, or form. However, as a recent high school grad, I was surprised at all the controversy. In school, the the word ‘f-bomb’ was used all the time. And it didn’t necessarily refer to a person’s sexuality. Just like the word ‘retarded’ was used in a bad situation. (I.E. That is so retarded). I don’t know. Maybe my pampered ass just has to get out in the real world. And the weirdest thing is I have never seen an episode of this show in my life.

  • G

    i’m glad just because burke’s storyline wasn’t that good anymore, and isaiah seems like an a-hole anyways…

  • Cookie Monster

    I am tired of this stuff. A) it ruins the cliffhangers that the fictional show set up, leaving us with bitter actors to look at. B) it makes us ignore good work out there; just saw “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” last night and this is finally a good show! Topical punchlines, and touchy subjects compounding on top of one another. This is the show that should have been on last fall. It highlights what topics should be water cooler events by going backstage at the center of a highly political yet super watched show (totally fictional). C) Washington is a fine actor, but a moron. People work so hard to get where he got and he screws it up! People like that, talent or not, deserve to be kicked off the air. But thanks to tmz.com we can keep up with people who should not be on the air all the time (Paris, Isaiah) D) What ever happened to REAL tabloid sensations like Divine

  • Jennie

    Although Isaiah may not be the nicest guy, I think it’s mistake for ABC to let him go. I really liked his character on Greys and liked the coupling of Burke and Christina. While he may be an ass, he is a good actor.

  • Chandy

    Good, it’s over with. Can’t stand the controversy anymore. They need to clean up the cast anyway. Along with Isaiah (McFruity), remove Ellen Pompeo (McInNeedOfMakeup) and Eric Dane (McEyelashLess) and you got a better looking cast. By the way, Supernatural on the CW – same date and time – has alot better looking cast members and are more easy on the eyes.

  • MM

    People do take into account an actor’s behavior off camera (see Tom Cruise’s box office post couch-jumping). Others are given a pass (see Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock). Isaiah has no one to blame but himself for his current situation. That being said, I think ABC should either have fired him after the GG incident or forever held their peace. Keeping him around for stability of the show and then firing him after the season is disingenuous. You either tolerate his behavior or you don’t.
    Completely agree with cookie monster that this kind of info ruins the cliffhangers.

  • Baby

    Don’t worry about him. He is an actor. Isaiah will charm his way into some acting job or janitorial position. I will be happy to buy him his first pair of work gloves.

  • Dio_K

    “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”???? Does this guy live on the same planet with the rest of us? I know actors get out of touch, but???

  • mark in nyc

    good…I was wondering how they were going to get George to sleep with Christina. Now that she wont be with Burke, George can complete the trifecta of Izzie, Meridith, and Christia…with Callieon the side. By the 2008 season he will shag bailey and the chief as well

  • Joe C

    I’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy, and I never will. But I won’t shed any tears for Isiah. Dude didn’t seem apologetic to me; if he’d shown genuine contrition, he’d still be on the show.

  • jim

    I know everyone is sick of the story. There is so much media and so much time to fill, any situation is greatly overexposed.
    The bottom line is that f word is offensive to a segment of the population. No matter how many times someone has said it or heard it, it’s still very derogatory.

  • Larry

    As a gay black man, I was disgusted with Washington’s use(s) of the word f*****. Glad to see him gone, though I’ve never seen an episode of GA. I was also disgusted by his standing ovation at the NAACP, my people get it together. It’s not good to award hate, praise hate or stand up for hate, it is however, awesome to fire hate!

  • Ceballos

    Although this whole issue DOES raise some of the interesting questions Slezak alluded to, I too am tired of reading about this issue.
    That’s mostly because I’ve been pretty convinced that ever since it happened he wouldn’t be back next year. Add to that the fact that his character COMPLETELY left Seattle at the end of the season finale, and the announcement that he won’t be returning to the show next year this week (and the subsequent brouhaha) seem painfully superfluous to me.

  • kats

    I think the thing that makes Washington’s situation from Gibson’s on a professional level is that Washington was at work while engaging in the physical altercation and dropping the f-word. While Mel’s behavior was just as deplorable, he was not on the clock when it went down. If he had been on the job when that took place than he should have been immediately dismissed. As far as Paris, what’s happening with her is just another example of how money and fame can buy injustice in our legal system. Sad but true.

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