Isaiah Washington is slamming his former Grey's Anatomy costar, Katherine Heigl, 13 years after he was fired from the ABC series.
On Monday, the P-Valley actor, 57, called out Heigl, 41, on Twitter for saying he should "never be allowed to speak publicly again." Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke on the medical drama, was fired from Grey's back in 2007 after using a homophobic slur on set.
He denied at the time that the slur was directed at anybody in particular, though many felt the outburst was aimed at costar T.R. Knight’s sexuality.
"This woman once proclaimed that I should ‘never’ be allowed to speak publicly again. The world agreed with her proclamation back then and protested for my job and my head in 65 languages," wrote Washington alongside a photo of Heigl. "I wish I was on Twitter in 2007, because I will NEVER stop exercising my free speech."
"I’ve learned that all money ain’t good money and no amount of money can replace your dignity and integrity. Some call it living by your principles," he added in another tweet.
Of Washington's recent comments, a source close to Heigl says: "Katherine stood up for her close friend twice when Isaiah publicly outed him and called him a f—-t. That’s hate talk, not free speech. She is proud that she stood up for him. Katherine is and always will be an advocate and ally to the LGBTQ community."
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At the Golden Globes press room in 2007, when Washington was asked about the alleged on-set incident between himself and Knight, he said: “No, I did not call T.R. a f—-t. Never happened, never happened.” He later apologized for using the slur at the awards show press room.
Heigl, who was close friends with Knight, criticized Washington’s statement at the time. “I’m going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period,” she told Access Hollywood. “I’m sorry, that did not need to be said, I’m not okay with it.”
“I just feel like this is something that should be very much in-house we need to deal with,” she added. “… T.R. is my best friend. I will throw down for that kid.”
After the press room comments at the time, Washington continued to address questions about the alleged on-set incident, telling Access: “There is no way I could do anything so vile and so horrible, not only to a cast mate, but to a fellow human being.”
Speaking out about his firing, Washington told Entertainment Weekly in June 2007 that he “did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do. I came back under great duress and stress, and thought I was doing the job I was hired to do.”
Washington returned to Grey's in 2014 for one episode to send off Sandra Oh's character Cristina Yang, whom Burke left at the altar years prior. “It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should,” creator Shonda Rhimes said at the time about the decision. “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.”
Last week, Patrick Dempsey made a shocking return to the show in Meredith Grey's dream. Since leaving Grey's in 2015, the actor recently told Deadline that the show's "dynamic behind the camera had changed."
"It was really exciting, and fun, and it was great to see everybody. …," said Dempsey. "The dynamic behind the camera had changed. There’s much more diversity within the crew. There was a nice balance, too, of equality that I was seeing. So, culturally, there was a lot of things that were different, that I thought were very positive and very inspiring, actually."
Grey's lead actress Ellen Pompeo previously alluded to a "toxic" work environment in early seasons of the show, saying in a conversation with Variety last year that she wanted to leave the show over the behavior. "The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment," she said at the time.
“It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years,” Pompeo added. “My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes.”
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