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Washington Apologizes for Gay Slur

''Grey's Anatomy'' star Isaiah Washington issues an apology for using a slur in reference to costar T.R. Knight after ABC calls his choice of words ''unacceptable''

Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy | WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON

Grey's Anatomy's Isaiah Washington has issued a statement of apology after creating an uproar with his use of a gay slur in reference to costar T.R. Knight. ''I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show, and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance,'' Washington says in the statement, released Thursday night.

Backstage at the Golden Globes on Monday night, Washington told reporters, ''No, I did not call (co-star) T.R. (Knight) a faggot'' during an on-set incident last year. On Thursday, ABC Entertainment officially addressed the situation: ''We have a long-standing policy to create and maintain respectful workplaces for all our employees,'' the network said in a statement. ''We dealt with the original situation in October, and thought the issue resolved. Therefore, we are greatly dismayed that Mr. Washington chose to use such inappropriate language at the Golden Globes, language that he himself deemed 'unfortunate' in his previous public apology. We take this situation very seriously. His actions are unacceptable and are being addressed.''

Also on Thursday, the gay and lesbian advocacy group GLAAD asked Washington to apologize for his behavior: ''Washington's repeated use of (the slur) on-set and in the media is simply inexcusable,'' GLAAD president Neil Giuliano said in a statement.

Washington's statement:

''I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show, and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance. By repeating the word Monday night, I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on Grey's Anatomy. I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help.

''I know the power of words, especially those that demean. I realize that by using one filled with disrespect I have hurt more than T.R. and my colleagues. With one word, I've hurt everyone who has struggled for the respect so many of us take for granted. I welcome the chance to meet with leaders of the gay and lesbian community to apologize in person and to talk about what I can do to heal the wounds I've opened.

''T.R.'s courage throughout this entire episode speaks to his tremendous character. I hold his talent, and T.R. as a person, in high esteem. I know a mere apology will not end this, and I intend to let my future actions prove my sincerity.''

Originally posted Jan 18, 2007
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