Washington: All A Misunderstanding

Isaiah Washington in a scene from the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy."
ABC Photo
Isaiah Washington says he's "saddened" by the way things went down on the set of "Grey's Anatomy," which culminated with him being fired last week from the ABC show. He says that what transpired on the set of the hit show was "a horrible misunderstanding."

"I'm saddened by the outcome. I did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do," he says in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I came back under great duress and 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."

Washington says that the show's creator Shonda Rhimes called him June 7 and told him that he would not be returning to the show.

Trouble for Washington began when he opened old wounds backstage at the Golden Globes last year when he answered reporter's questions about the October on-set argument where he allegedly referred to co-star T.R. Knight by using an anti-gay slur. Washington issued an apology via his publicist as rumors swirled that he would be dropped from the show.

Washington says that the incident was "blown out of proportion."

"I just hope people can understand in the industry and otherwise that it's a horrible misunderstanding what transpired with our show and it was blown out of proportion," he says. "If the naysayers out there feel that some justice has been served and that they're happy with the outcome, so be it. It's incumbent on me to take what I do, do it well, grow from the experience, and move on."

Washington hasn't heard from his castmates since he was let go.

"Everyone is still on vacation. I don't expect to hear from my castmates," he said. "I did talk to Chandra Wilson and I got a text message from Kate Walsh. Everyone's doing their own thing. People are still trying to enjoy their summer before they get back to the grind. I think a lot of people are out of the country. I'm still getting calls from people discovering that this change has occurred."

When he was asked by EW if he was on good terms with Knight, Washington replied, "I don't know. You have to ask T.R. that."

In the season finale of the show, Washington's character walks out on Sandra Oh's character on their wedding day. After it aired, viewers buzzed about whether Washington's character, Preston Burke, would return for season four.

While it's not clear how the controversy will affect his career, Washington says he can only take things one day at a time.

"I can only apologize so many times. I can only accept so much responsibility. All the players involved have taken care of what we needed to take care of in-house — and the media took it in a different direction," he says. "I hope that everyone is happy for the outcome for Isaiah, but Isaiah will go on and do what I love to do. And I have to go about the business of letting people know what's written about me is not the truth. I'm merely an actor, a husband, and a father who's trying to do a great job and be very grateful and understanding that I'm in a very privileged position."

The actor added that he doesn't know if he'll work for the network again and as far as rumors that he may file a lawsuit are concerned, "I don't know anything about that." He's currently working on the indie film "The Least of These."