October 25, 2006 at 10:02 PM EDT

Under the heading of, “It’s About Damn Time!”: Isaiah “McAngry” Washington (pictured) has issued a statement of apology to People magazine regarding an Oct. 9 onset altercation with Patrick Dempsey in which he reportedly referred to a third Grey’s Anatomy cast member as a “faggot.” (On Oct. 19, Grey’s star T.R. Knight announced he was gay.)

“I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set,” Washington said in his statement to People. “Both are beneath my own personal standards…. I have nothing but respect for my coworkers… and have apologized personally to everyone involved.”

If Washington’s apology is sufficient for the Grey’s cast and crew, fair enough, although it would’ve been nice if he’d come around sooner, and perhaps been a little more direct with the language in his public statement. Just a thought, but how about leading with “I’m sorry”?

As for any future fallout, in a story in this Friday’s issue of EW,a Touchstone TV spokeswoman says rumors of Washington’s firing and/orreplacement are “unequivocally false,” while series creator ShondaRhimes tells People such speculation is “offensive,” addingthat “the [idea] that one black man was interchangeable with anotherseemed disturbing to me.”

What do you think PopWatchers? Are you ready for Washington’sinevitable contrition tour of Leno, Larry King, Oprah, et al? Would yourather skip that shtick and get back to sighing longingly whilewatching Grey’s? And more importantly, will Washington’s off-screen antics affect your ability to swoon over the Burke-Cristina romance?

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. Arizona. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes’ hospital melodrama.
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