Sometimes you do get a second chance.
Just ask actor Isaiah Washington, as he recently got invited back to play on Grey’s Anatomy after being gone for seven whole years.
Washington used to play Dr. Preston Burke on the show, but was let go in 2007 for using a gay slur towards cast mate T.R. Knight, and for some reason Washington used the same gay slur at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards while talking about the original incident.
According to Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator and head writer, the return of Washington has everything to do with closing out the story line of the character Cristina, played by Sandra Oh.
Cristina was engaged to Dr. Burke on the show, and Oh is leaving at the close of this season, so it was crucial to have some closure between her character and Washington’s.
“It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should, said Rhimes in a statement. “Burke is vital to that journey. He gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang.”
As some remember, Washington was at the receiving end of some very intense backlash after making those now infamous slurs, especially from gay activist groups. But perhaps surprisingly, GLADD, who is probably the biggest gay activist group in the country, said it feels okay about the actor returning to the show, because he’s changed a lot since 2007.
“His PSA and his statements promoting marriage equality in recent years have sent a strong message for LGBT people,” said GLAAD in a statement. “We look forward to seeing him return to one of our favorite shows, as well as in Patrick-Ian Polk’s moving film Blackbird about a young man coming out in a small Southern town.”
Image via YouTube