Friday, January 19, 2007

There are consequences

Grey's Anatomy star, Isaiah Washington, admits he has some major issues he needs to address. In October, he attacked co-star Patrick Dempsey after Dempsey was angry that Washington called another of their co-stars, TR Knight, a 'faggot' when Washington was angry about being kept waiting on the set.

While it was common knowledge among the cast that Knight was gay, it was not common knowledge in Hollywood and Washington's public outburst effectively 'outed' him in a profession that is at best squeamish about having gay actors play leading roles. Being a human being as well as an actor, Knight felt he could not allow the slur to pass without comment and stood up to the plate to announce in an interview with People Magazine that he is gay and Washington was out of line.

Even more shocking, Washington (who'd apologized to the cast and suits at ABC in October about his outburst) showed he'd no balls and that money and retaining his job were of more importance than personal principle because he denied calling Knight a 'faggot' when asked about the October incident by a reporter as the entire cast was interviewed about their win backstage at the Golden Globes.

I do like Grey's Anatomy this season--last season, I stopped watching it as the plot lines were a bit too mushy and maudlin but am glad I gave it a second chance the writers are back on form--and like to forgive, but I think in this instance Washington must go. In America, we keep saying 'there are consequences to our actions' and this is a case where Washington must be made to pay the price. His apology in October appears to have been insincere.

It is not acceptable to use the 'N' word and it is not acceptable to use the 'faggot' word, either. Children have been beaten up and called 'faggot' for years in playgrounds--in fact, it's now conceivable Mr. Washington could have been one such bully during his school days--and Matthew Shepard was tied up, tortured and killed in a lonely Wyoming pasture for being a faggot. Have we not moved forward?

A producer of the show is reported as stating it's not acceptable to fire Washington and to think about replacing him with another black actor. She holds the view that that is insulting to blacks. Obfuscating or attempting to mitigate the real issue, HOMOPHOBIA, by introducing the issue of black discrimination is at best disingenuous. Forget about the tons of money you're earning and try and set the world right in this matter. It is good Mr. Washington is showing a willingness to change his attitudes but there are consequences and the price must be fully paid.

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