Credit: ABC Photo: Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington)

Isaiah Washington (Preston Burke) may have left Grey's Anatomy besieged by controversy — having allegedly referred to T.R. Knight (George O'Malley) by a gay slur on set and then saying it again on-record at the Golden Globes — but that doesn't mean the cast and crew of the show aren't willing to welcome him back.

As we prepare for his dramatic return to the show in the episode airing tonight, May 1 — Season 10, Episode 22: "We Are Never Getting Back Together"Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes tells Entertainment Weekly that she and her Grey’s colleagues still think highly of the actor.

"I [want] to just be clear that Isaiah is a person that we all love and have loved for a very long time," the veteran producer tells the magazine. "I feel like there have been a lot of people that have been like, 'How can you do this?' And I feel very strongly and fully believe in people's ability to grow and change and learn from their mistakes and when they know better, to do better. If people don't think that, over the course of seven years, it's possible for a human being to change, then there really is no future for the human race at all."

So it sounds like Shonda has forgiven Isaiah but not forgotten about his past transgressions. She does not, however, mention his recent Twitter wars with Grey's fans, which doesn't exactly help his likability factor.

"My first decision and my first responsibility is to the story," she says, confirming what we concluded when Isaiah's return was first announced. "I have to be the keeper of the story and make sure that we're telling the story we need to tell, regardless of whatever outside factors are involved or whatever history is involved; and, frankly, [Sandra Oh, who plays Cristina Yang] was so lovely and open to it. It has been a really kind of amazing experience."

For her part, Sandra also enjoyed the experience. "He's a prepared, energized actor, and he was ready to play."

Have you forgiven Isaiah, or are you still upset with him? Let us know your mindset in the comments below!

Source: Entertainment Weekly