Entertainment News: Washington Cries Racism After ABC Oust

Entertainment News: Washington Cries Racism After ABC Oust

Published July 23, 2007

Posted June 29, 2007 -- Isaiah Washington barely touched the surface when he blamed former "Grey's Anatomy" star T.R. Knight last week for his controversial oust from the show. Now the actor is calling his firing full-on racism. In an interview with Newsweek, Washington says his unwillingness to act like a submissive Black at work ultimately did him in.

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The following are excerpts from an interview published in Newsweek.

"My mistake was thinking Black people get second chances. I was wrong on all fronts ... 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 ... 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."

After Washington uttered an anti-gay slur in reference to ex-cast mate Knight, he apologized to various groups, sought counseling and filmed a public service announcement. ABC fired him earlier this month.

"I apologized and showed my remorse for what I said and for the pain I caused anyone. If a Black man can't get forgiveness in this country, when so many other people like Robert Downey Jr. and the governor of California get second and third chances ... I think that says a lot about race and this country where we stand."

The network declined comment Thursday. In its one public statement regarding Washington, issued in January, the network said his actions were "unacceptable."

Tell us: Is Isaiah Washington just pulling the race card? Pushing the attention off of himself? Or do you validate his feelings? Might a second chance have come his way if he were White?

Written by BET-Staff


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