Isaiah Washington meets with gay activists

M.I.A | January 22, 2007 | 6 Comments More

AP reported this today.


“Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington, under fire for using a gay slur about a co-star, met Monday with gay rights activists who said he agreed to help educate the public about the cruelty of such language.

“He seemed very sincere in his interest in working with us in an ongoing basis,” Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. “We emphasized that this is not a one-shot deal, but an ongoing thing. He was very open to doing this.”

The star of the hit ABC medical drama met with Jennings, who spoke after the private meeting, and Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. A call to Washington’s publicist for comment was not immediately returned Monday.

According to Jennings, Washington said he wanted to explore ways to work with GLSEN to address issues of “namecalling and how he might use his various platforms to educate people about how painful and wrong it is.”

By coincidence, Jennings noted, Monday was the start of “No Name-Calling Week,” coordinated by GLSEN with national educational partners to help schools find ways to eliminate bullying and slurs of all kinds. His group welcomed Washington’s help in promoting the group’s agenda, Jennings said.

Washington, himself a father, said he understands how the issue effects young people, Jennings said.

Washington, who stepped away from filming for the hour-long meeting, said he is interested in pursuing various options, such as public-service announcements, according to Jennings. No firm agreements were reached, the GLSEN director said.

“I think this is a very good first step toward him showing he really wants to do something. We take him at his word,” Jennings said.

Last October, it was reported that Washington used the term “faggot” about castmate T.R. Knight during an on-set argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey. He used it again backstage at the Jan. 15 Golden Globes as he denied ever uttering it.

Washington issued an apology after he was publicly criticized by GLAAD and chastised by ABC.

“Grey’s Anatomy” led nominees announced Sunday for the 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards, recognizing “mainstream media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender … community and the issues that affect their lives.”

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    1. Murphy says:

      A first step! Does this mean anyone who publicly insults the gay community must be permanently tethered to the organization? It would seem to me, now that they have made their point, they would shy away from someone who feels that way about them. Does it really matter what one person thinks about you? If you are secure in how you feel, go on with your life. Washington is accused of being hateful with his comments, and these comments have resulted in hate filled comments and actions relative to him. He should lose his job, his livelihood, etc., etc., etc. I know gay people who are loving and understanding and are not affected by the words of others. They have accepted who they are and are not on the attack. For the life of me, I cannot accept retaliation as a fair response to the original offense. This conduct does not help those who don’t accept your lifestyle become more understanding, and realize that some never will in spite of what you say, what is proven, what you accomplish, etc., etc. You can take away someone’s livelihood, but never their talent. Some have jumped on this bandwagon for their own personal reasons and I assure you it has nothing to do with gays. They don’t care for gays but it is an opportunity to deny a talented man his dreams. T.R. had, until this time, kept his gay lifestyle to himself and didn’t “come out” until this incident or so the story goes. Now that’s the person the organizations should get to help promote their agenda. These organizations have “gone to bat” not for him, but for all those who have had the courage to “come out”. Being gay will never be a good explanation for his not being respectful of others by continually holding up production. Let’s not forget this is where it all started.

    2. K.H.J says:

      Gay People need to stop whining about petty things like this. Fact is gay marriage is currently banned in approx. 17 states if thats not sending an anti-gay vibe out i dont know what is.

    3. Mike says:

      If the situation was reversed and white cast members had used the N word twice toward Isaiah Washington, would they still be on the show? Would the natonal black organizations – like the NAACP – be silent on this issue? Fire the guy and don’t bother to write him out of the show!

    4. Rob says:

      Are you kidding? He’s only pretending to care about his behavior because he’s afraid to get kicked off the show and lose out on the MONEY he’s making. Fire the hate filled bigot now and listen to his lies later.

    5. jan militello says:

      Everyone is making way too big of a deal over this. Get on with it.

    6. D. D. N. says:

      Oh—he’s going to “help educate the public about the cruelty of such actions” That’s rich. Sorry Dude, I don’t need your help with that.