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''Grey's'' exec producer admonishes Washington

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Shonda Rhimes
Craig Sjodin

Grey’s Anatomy creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes released a statement today saying that Isaiah Washington’s use of a homophobic slur at the Golden Globes was ”shocking and dismaying” and that the show is working to ”address the issue in a way that underscores the gravity of the situation.”

Also today, Washington released a statement saying that he has begun to attend counseling ”as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again.”

Backstage at the Globes on Jan. 15, Washington told reporters, ”No, I did not call (costar) T.R. (Knight) a faggot” during an on-set incident last year. On Jan. 18, ABC Entertainment officially addressed the situation, saying, ”We take this situation very seriously. His actions are unacceptable and are being addressed.”

After public admonishment from Grey‘s costar Katherine Heigl and the gay and lesbian advocacy group GLAAD, Washington apologized for the incident on Jan. 18, saying, ”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,” and on Jan. 22 he met with leaders from GLAAD.

Statement from Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy:

”I speak for all the executive producers here at Grey’s Anatomy when I say that Isaiah Washington’s use of such a disturbing word was a shocking and dismaying event that insulted not only gays and lesbians everywhere but anyone who has ever struggled for respect in a world that is not always accepting of difference.

”We’ve been working within the Grey’s family as well as with ABC and Touchstone Television to address the issue in a way that underscores the gravity of the situation while giving us all a foundation for healing. We applaud and encourage Isaiah’s realization that he needs help and his subsequent choice to seek immediate treatment for his behavioral issues.

”We appreciate the support the fans have always given our show, particularly during this stressful time. Creatively, we continue to strive to make the best television we can with the hope that our show reflects the talent, hard work and professionalism of our cast and crew.”

Statement from Isaiah Washington:

”With the support of my family and friends, I have begun counseling. I regard this as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again. I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity and I remain committed to transforming my negative actions into positive results, personally and professionally.”

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