Wednesday, January 17, 2007

McChokey Part 2: Careericide

So, it all started back in October when Isaiah Washington, who is said to have been frustrated by shooting delays, attacked and choked Patrick Dempsey. Knight was nearby and--along with everyone else on the set--heard Isaiah refer to him as a "faggot."

He wasn't closeted, strictly speaking, but neither had he discussed his sexual orientation with the press. As the incident became fodder for print and TV tabloids, he was forced to issue a statement to People magazine: "I hope that my being gay is not the most interesting thing about me."

After saying nothing for a week, Isaiah also issued a statement to People, an apology in which he implicitly admitted both the attack and the slur:
"I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident onset," Washington, 43, says in the statement released to People magazine on Wednesday. "Both are beneath my own personal standards. I have nothing but respect for my coworkers … and have apologized personally to everyone involved."

Course, now he denies these incidents (which, again, were witnessed by many people) ever took place.
In the Golden Globe's press room, E! News reporter Ted Casablanca questioned the cast about continued onset tension. But before Grey's Anatomy creator Sondra Rhimes could respond, Washington raced to the mic and blurted, ''No, I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never happened, never happened.''

Knight and the rest of the cast reportedly remained stone-faced as Rhimes regained control of the mic and tried to steer the conversation to their new award. "It was by far the ugliest, most uncomfortable press-room moment I have ever experienced," writes TV columnist Michael Ausiello on "And judging by the shell-shocked faces on the cast — particularly T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey, who have been class acts throughout this entire ordeal — it was a new low for them, too."

Meanwhile, TR Knight went on Ellen today and spoke about this for the first time, confirming what everybody already knew: "He referred to me as a faggot, everyone heard it on the set."

When DeGeneres asked about Washington's continued denials, Knight responded, "I don't know what to say, really, about that."

However, co-star Katherine Heigl knew exactly what to say about that, telling Access Hollywood, "I'm going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period. I'm sorry, that did not need to be said. I just find it hurtful. I don't think [Washington] means it the way he comes off…But, T.R. is my best friend. I will throw down for that kid. I will beat you up. I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings … Drawing attention to it and saying the word again is just unnecessary."

What made Washington think he could get away with this? If he had just kept quiet, this would've gone away, but now he's nuked his own career. It's one thing to lie -- it's quite another to get caught lying in front of millions of people. This will be what he's known for from now on. And ABC's gotta be worried that it's what the show will be known for if they don't take action.

I was kind of surprised that he didn't get fired over the original incident, but this "sequel" puts him over the top--I expect we'll hear before too much longer that he's been dropped. I hope ABC doesn't give him the face-saving option of announcing it like it was his own idea. He doesn't deserve that. He deserves a public sacking.

Or they could hold him to his contract--but reduce his screen time to nil (as Sorkin did oh-so-vengefully to Moira Kelly on West Wing). Either way suits me.

Even better: reveal that the character is secretly hosting Drag Queen Bingo every Sunday...

Update: Towleroad now has video of T.R. Knight's appearance on Ellen.


Anonymous Stephen J. Xanthos said...

Did you see ABC's condemnation from today and Washington's resulting apology?

Ah, justice.

1/19/07, 10:35 AM  
Blogger Blobby said...

All I know is if T.R. used the 'n' word to describe Washington, he'd have been canned the first day.

1/20/07, 9:56 AM  

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