Ex-“Grey’s” Star Cites Racism For Firing

AP, June 28, 2007

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington said racism was a factor in his firing from the hit ABC series after he twice used an anti-gay slur.

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“My mistake was believing that I would get the support from my network and all of my cast mates across the board. My mistake was believing I could correct a wrong with honesty and sincerity,” he said in the interview posted online Thursday.

“My mistake was thinking black people get second chances. I was wrong on all fronts,” he said.

His unwillingness to act like a submissive black at work was part of the problem, Washington said.

“Well, it didn’t help me on the set that I was a black man who wasn’t a mush-mouth Negro walking around with his head in his hands all the time. I didn’t speak like I’d just left the plantation and that can be a problem for people sometime,” he said.

“I had a person in human resources tell me after this thing played out that ‘some people’ were afraid of me around the studio. I asked her why, because I’m a 6-foot-1, black man with dark skin and who doesn’t go around saying ‘Yessah, massa sir’ and ‘No sir, massa’ to everyone?

“It’s nuts when your presence alone can just scare people, and that made me a prime candidate to take the heat in a dysfunctional family,” he said.

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