Isaiah Washington quickly went from one of the most-beloved Grey's Anatomy actors to the singularly most-despised after allegedly using a homophobic slur to refer to T.R. Knight in an argument with Patrick Dempsey on set in 2006 — and then repeating that same F-word in the press room at the 2007 Golden Globes.
And in a new interview with the Huffington Post, the 50-year-old actor says that the scandal not only cost him his role as Preston Burke but also ruined his Hollywood career.
"Everything just fell apart,” he revealed. “Whatever the agenda, whatever the plan was, it worked. I mean, I lost everything. So I couldn't afford to have an agent. I couldn't afford to have a publicist for crisis management to continue. It's not that I didn't want to — I have a wife and three kids."
He recounts how he lost the lifestyle of the rich and famous: "I went from $2 million a year to residual checks. Zero. I couldn't even get another apartment after I turned in my lease for my $3 million home. I had to put it in my wife's name. No one wanted to touch the name of Isaiah Washington."
But he continues to maintain his innocence in the whole matter. "I simply did not have the money or the power to compete with a behemoth of media that has already tried and convicted me even though I'm saying, 'This is not the truth,' and I will continue to say it. Blew it at the Globes. Didn't happen like that in October [in] the argument between me and Patrick Dempsey … It didn't stop. The persecution continued."
Isaiah says that he had to start auditioning for roles again, no longer having them handed to him during his heyday. And his agents told him to apologize before each audition. "Wherever I show up, I'm the pariah. Like, door slam, door slam."
But during his Hollywood exile, he says, Facebook fans offered him support — as well as scripts and pitches, like the one that drew him to the critically-lauded film Blue Caprice.
Unfortunately, he was also contacted by people with a different purpose: "I got bigots coming at me, inviting me to parties, like, 'Yeah, yeah! Down with the gays!' I'm like 'No, down with you!' So I'm fighting bigots on one hand, and then fighting people who actually think I'm a monster on the other hand."
Now, however, he just wants to focus on his artistry. "I embrace what happened and my participation in it, but I've moved on. I can't make anyone like me. I can show you my heart through my work."
We feel a bit of pity for the guy, but we're not sure we've forgiven and forgotten yet. But what do you think? Are you still mad with him? Or have you moved on, too? Sound off below.
Source: Huffington Post