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  • Grey's Anatomy- Isaiah Washington controversy

    It's an odd time to be starting a new thread about any show, I think... this hiatus sucks!!!

    In any case, it would appear that news is still afoot- I just read on wikipedia that Washington's contract was not renewed and he won't appear in season 4.

    Are you shocked? Not surprised? Were you expecting it to be earlier?
    I am surprised, in spite of the strangeness of the end of season three, and would have thought they would have sacked him sooner if they were going to.


  • #2
    I agree, Vev, if I were Shonda I would have sacked him a lot sooner. So I'm definitely not shocked or surprised, I think it was the right thing to do. Ever since learning that I. Washington is a homophobe and how he treated T.R. Knight and was in a fight with Patrick Dempsey, I have not been able to put it out of my mind when I watched his portrayal of Burke on GA and my feelings towards the character of Burke were negative almost all the time.
    Spoiler:
    Of course seeing Burke push Cristina into being someone she didn't want to be (the whole traditional bride thing) also furthered my dislike of Burke.
    Seeing Washington still on the show as if nothing had happened just added to my overall discomfort while watching season 3. So firing him now is a bit late IMO but better late than never right?

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    • #3
      Hey Cori, thought I might see you in this thread

      I agree, better late than never. Still, am surprised though, especially in a way because I felt that in a way they were gearing George up to be the character to leave
      Spoiler:
      (he cheats on Callie, fails his exams)
      so indeed interesting that such an about turn was taken-
      Spoiler:
      one second Burke is there, the next, after coercing Cristina into being someone she's not, he's out of there, him and his trumpet!

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      • #4
        I will miss the Burke character. He and Christina were my favorite couple. Derek and Meredith are so "AAAAAHHH" right now. BRING BACK MCVET!!!

        I like the simplicity of their relationship. But I do agree the actor has some major problems to deal with. I do believe in second chances. (habitual hatred - NO!)

        Perhaps he can be brought in later.

        Also,

        Spoiler:
        Catherine Hiegl (Izzy) may not return next season either... She is still negotiating for more money from ABC. She's a movie star now - she wants to be paid for it
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        • #5
          I can't say I'm surprised or saddened by this news. He did call a co-worker a discriminative name and assaulted another. Just like in a normal workplace, he should have been fired. I think taking so long to fire him was more on Shonda's part, creatively making him disappear would have gone well. To many questions would have been left unanswered.

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          • #6
            Character wise, I'm very sadden to see him go, but as a person. I don't mind it at all. I will miss Burke alot, he had his faults but he was actually one of my favourites, especially during the first and second season.

            The only thing that got me irritated with him leaving is that they really dragged out the whole official desicion. They've been going back and forth and back and forth and so I'm happy to see they've finally reached a desicion so everyone can just move on..

            I seriously hope Katherine Heigl is returning.. otherwise there's not much left to watch, at least not for me, since i prefer Izzie over Grey every day (hay.. rhimes ) and besides.. that would leave a MAJOR hole in the current plot involving her..
            Last edited by Dana; 12-06-07, 12:39 PM.
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            • #7
              Good riddance. His character BORED me to tears. And yes, there is the whole turning Christina into a diifferent person thing. Not to mention his unconscionable behaviour off screen.

              Originally posted by ThePoet's<3 View Post
              Derek and Meredith are so "AAAAAHHH" right now. BRING BACK MCVET!!!
              Right now? There's always annoying. I blame Meredith. She's my least fave character. And yes....McVet was sooo much better!


              Originally posted by Dana View Post
              I seriously hope Katherine Heigl is returning.. otherwise there's not much left to watch, at least not for me, since i prefer Izzie over Grey every day (hay.. rhimes ) and besides.. that would leave a MAJOR hole in the current plot involving her..
              Katherine is one the best things about the whole damn show so I agree. I've actually read that she is contractually bound to the show and that they gave her more money even though her contract states her salary to be lower. What she is actually upset about is that although they increased her salary, she makes less than her castmates and she finds that unfair. I would too. I would feel like they don't view me as being as valuable as everyone else.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
                Right now? There's always annoying. I blame Meredith. She's my least fave character. And yes....McVet was sooo much better!
                Thank god I'm not the only one who thinks this. I'm so frikkin' tired of their back and forth and back and forth and calling her a wh.. and is he mcdreamy or isn't he *aaaargh* I think my head just exploded LOL!

                Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
                Katherine is one the best things about the whole damn show so I agree. I've actually read that she is contractually bound to the show and that they gave her more money even though her contract states her salary to be lower. What she is actually upset about is that although they increased her salary, she makes less than her castmates and she finds that unfair. I would too. I would feel like they don't view me as being as valuable as everyone else.
                Thank god! I got a bit nervous there for a moment! *whipes forhead*
                I would most definitly feel that as well. Why can't the companies just give all the actors the same salary, they're afterall doing the same job. They should do something along the lines of what the cast of Friends did. They all said the same salary or no job. It's simple, fair and just plain right.
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                • #9
                  Some news on the whole Isaiah Washington getting fired situation from Michael Ausiello at www.tvguide.com:

                  Question: What's been the fallout from Isaiah Washington's Grey's firing?- Cindy

                  Ausiello: Well, the folks over at Grey's are apparently steamed about comments Isaiah's rep, Howard Bragman, made to me on Friday - specifically the part about how his client jumped through hoops only to be fired anyway. "Apparently, Isaiah missed the point that he should have been apologizing and working on his anger issues because it's the right thing to do," whispers a Grey's insider. "It wasn't just supposed to be an empty exercise he went through for the sake of appearances."

                  Question: Why did ABC wait so long to fire Isaiah Washington?- Nancy Farkas

                  Ausiello: The alternative would've been to fire him in the middle of the season, and that would've been a disaster both legally and creatively. The easiest thing to do was release him at the end of his contract cycle, and that's what happened. What's not clear is when exactly the decision to dump him was made. Some say it was as far back as February; others insist a final verdict didn't come down until last week. Only a handful of people know for sure, and, unfortunately, one of them is nicknamed the Information Nazi.
                  Looks to me as if Isaiah Washington has not really learned his lesson at all! Good riddance then!

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                  • #10
                    "Apparently, Isaiah missed the point that he should have been apologizing and working on his anger issues because it's the right thing to do," whispers a Grey's insider. "It wasn't just supposed to be an empty exercise he went through for the sake of appearances."
                    I read that this morning and was like "Right on." I couldn't have said it better.
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                    • #11
                      Maybe firing Washington was the right thing to do, but for me it sucks. I have always loved Burke, and I hate that the character is gone because of the actor's issues. It really sucks, but I guess I'll just have to get over it!

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                      • #12
                        I've read a lot about this and I don't really know how to feel about it.

                        I know that he's been mad at T.R. Knight, insulted him and took a long time before even apologize. I know he's been playing the poor little guy harassed by the press and all. Yet, I think it should never have impact on a TV Show writing and direction. He's definitely important to the show and I loved the finale this season, partly thanks to him.

                        I don't know, he's been wrong but I don't think firing him this way is the good idea.

                        Maybe if people were less interested in the "real life" part of actors, it'd be ok. It's all a question of appearance and reflect to the audience.

                        Anyway, real sad to see so much about it.
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                        • #13
                          Unfortunately it's gone this far because the networks and the producers have to be seen to be taking action. They can't let him continue on the show as some people will see that as not only letting him 'get away' with comments like that but can twist it into 'supporting' his comments.

                          The whole subject is really sensitive. It's the same with Big Brother; they had to kick Emily out for calling Charlie a nigger because if they didn't the hate mail would have been huge. But if Charlie had called Emily a white bitch it would have gone by without mention.

                          It makes these issues worse than they really are by taking such drastic action. A simply apology and move on isn't enough /sigh

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                          • #14
                            For me, I just don't care for Burke. I used to be pretty indifferent to him but this last season especially he's just rubbed me the wrong way and it has nothing to do with his off-screen behavior.

                            Besides, it's not like the show couldn't use a little downsizing anyway... That cast is HUGE! It has like around the same number of regulars as Lost, for chrissakes.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
                              For me, I just don't care for Burke. I used to be pretty indifferent to him but this last season especially he's just rubbed me the wrong way and it has nothing to do with his off-screen behavior.

                              Besides, it's not like the show couldn't use a little downsizing anyway... That cast is HUGE! It has like around the same number of regulars as Lost, for chrissakes.
                              Yeah, well, we got you don't like Burke, but there are people who do, actually! If it had been an artistic decision, I would have less problems with it. If it wasn't for all his outside the show Washington stuff, Burke wouldn't have been written off, I'm pretty sure about that.
                              The cast is huge, but Burke was one of the originals, and a big part of the show...it's like if..Derek or Meredith were written off! (we will never be that lucky, unfortunately! LOL ) Someone else should go first, if it comes to downsizing the cast!
                              Anyway, all this discussion we are having is just useless, since what's done is done! LOL I hope at least they mention him in the season 4 premiere, and that they don't pretend he never left abruptly to begin with!

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                              • #16
                                Callie has really grown on me a lot but I thought they had a good opportunity to get rid of her, if downsizing was on the brain...and Mark too since he didn't get the chief position....he could have just decided to go elsewhere. And George is an original too and they have a perfect opportunity to get rid of him too. Just because someone has been there since the beginning doesn't mean they have reason to always be there. Plenty of shows have gotten rid of original members for lots of different reasons.

                                I get that it is unfair to have off-screen stuff determine the artistic direction of any series, but producers have to weigh whether all the bad press a co-star has against the life the series still has left...if one person is hurting the show, then the art may have to suffer a bit. It is a business after all. It's about money, money, money. Perhaps they determined that firing Isaiah was the best bet financially....
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
                                  Callie has really grown on me a lot but I thought they had a good opportunity to get rid of her, if downsizing was on the brain...and Mark too since he didn't get the chief position....he could have just decided to go elsewhere. And George is an original too and they have a perfect opportunity to get rid of him too. Just because someone has been there since the beginning doesn't mean they have reason to always be there. Plenty of shows have gotten rid of original members for lots of different reasons.
                                  I didn't mean that..of course being there from the beginning doesn't mean you'll stay there forever. But if you want to write off characters just because you have too many, I wouldn't choose Burke, and neither would have Shonda and company, if the whole mess hadn't happened. I like Callie and Mark, for example, but they are less pivotal to the show than Burke is!

                                  I get that it is unfair to have off-screen stuff determine the artistic direction of any series, but producers have to weigh whether all the bad press a co-star has against the life the series still has left...if one person is hurting the show, then the art may have to suffer a bit. It is a business after all. It's about money, money, money. Perhaps they determined that firing Isaiah was the best bet financially....
                                  And this is all true, and I agree. But it still sucks!

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                                  • #18
                                    I did like Burke and I continued to like the character even after the comments he made on set, but getting rid of him adds more layers to Cristina and I am all for this.

                                    At the same time I am gonna be kinda sad because like Meredith, I felt that Cristina and Burke were the couple, that they would be the one that is in it for the long haul.

                                    Oh well, he's gone and it doesn't feel forced. Burke got all pissy because he wasn't gonna get chief because he thought that Derek was going to get it, so away with him I suppose. The only reason why this upsets me is because it upsets Cristina and I feel for that girl. She changed so much for him and went through all that wedding crap just so he could say no? That is an A-class ass if there ever was one. She wanted to commit and just because she is hesitant (which who isn't when you are commiting to someone for life???) and shows it more in the open than others he has to cancel? Whatever. Goodbye Burke, nice knowing you...or whatever.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by EndersWrath View Post
                                      I did like Burke and I continued to like the character even after the comments he made on set, but getting rid of him adds more layers to Cristina and I am all for this.

                                      At the same time I am gonna be kinda sad because like Meredith, I felt that Cristina and Burke were the couple, that they would be the one that is in it for the long haul.

                                      Oh well, he's gone and it doesn't feel forced. Burke got all pissy because he wasn't gonna get chief because he thought that Derek was going to get it, so away with him I suppose. The only reason why this upsets me is because it upsets Cristina and I feel for that girl. She changed so much for him and went through all that wedding crap just so he could say no? That is an A-class ass if there ever was one. She wanted to commit and just because she is hesitant (which who isn't when you are commiting to someone for life???) and shows it more in the open than others he has to cancel? Whatever. Goodbye Burke, nice knowing you...or whatever.
                                      Lol..I actually disagree...Burke didn't go through with the wedding because he realized that it wasn't the right thing, for none of them. Christina was changing her personality to fit his, and he was letting her do it. They both love each other, sincerely, but probably they are just too different to work as a couple, in the long run. Burke made the right decision, in my opinion, even though I was rooting for them. The ugly thing is Burke not realizing that sooner, and waiting to be on the aisle to break up with her... I have always thought he was more clever than that. But rather than Burke, I blame the writers...because that's what writers do: make the characters act like idiots to increase the drama.
                                      And to make Christina grow, you don't have to get rid of Burke...it's enough to just break them up for good!

                                      It seems I have found the character to defend on GA...Francy, Burke's defender! LOL

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                                      • #20
                                        I guess I look at it in a way that it is a workplace, and workplaces have to (are supposed to) take harassment seriously.

                                        The side effect (fortunate or unfortunate, depending on if you're Jenni Lou or Francy!!!) is the loss of Burke, but I guess if someone is fired from a workplace of any kind there is fallout.

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