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Grey's Anatomy fans wouldn't be considered foolish for thinking that we're all trapped in a time machine sent back to the year 2006. Not only did the most recent episode bring back a very familiar and long-missed face, but former star Isaiah Washington has for some reason chosen this week to reignite his highly emotional feud with ex-co-star Katherine Heigl that played into his exit from the hit medical drama. Also, there's no time machine.
To the confusion of many fans (and to the schadenfreudian delight of others), Isaiah Washington took to Twitter to unleash a new attack on Katherine Heigl that specifically referenced quotes she made about him back in 2007. Check out his post below and then read on for some of his more interesting comments.
It appears as if something seriously re-aggravated Isaiah Washington when it comes to Katherine Heigl and her previous comments about his right to speak publicly. And while there were some forms of social media such as Facebook and Myspace back in 2006 and 2007, they weren't the soapboxes that people use such websites as today. One can imagine, however, that Washington would have ramped up his defense stance and gone on a more aggressive kick had Twitter been around at the time of his forced Grey's Anatomy exit.
The actor did make a one-time return to Grey's Anatomy for Season 10 in 2014 as part of Sandra Oh's farewell storyline for Dr. Christina Yang, but he never really seemed to lose his grudge against the show and Katherine Heigl. He made that clear enough with some of his comments to his Twitter followers, such as referring to Heigl as the "first Karen." He also took shots at some of those who tried to defend Heigl, saying to one fan:
Your opinions are your own, but you are a fool, a liberal and misguided feminist to even try and defend this woman. You weren’t there, so die on this hill, whoever you are. She could have cared less about her gay friend. Chandra Wilson knows all about that too.
Not all of his comments were so insulting, however. When one follower asked him why he was bringing it all up again, Isaiah Washington responded by saying "Because it's the TRUTH." Elsewhere, he shared the hard lesson that he took away from the experience.
I’ve learned that all money ain’t good money and no amount of money can replace your dignity and integrity. Some call it living by your principles.
For those who might not remember the details, Isaiah Washington portrayed surgeon Dr. Preston Burke for the first three seasons of Grey's Anatomy. In October 2006, reports sprang up saying Washington was in an argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey and used a homophobic slur in reference to then-star T.R. Knight, who publicly came out in the aftermath. Though Washington's initial apology over his language quelled the backlash, he went on to joke about the incident a few months later at the Golden Globe awards, and the renewed conversations about it eventually led ABC execs to decline renewing the actor's contract beyond Season 3. More to the point here, those Golden Globe comments inspired Katherine Heigl to say in an interview that Isaiah Washington "needs to just not speak in public, period."
It's no doubt interesting to reflect on that controversy in 2020, at a point when the entertainment industry has faced massive reckonings relating to both gender and racial issues. It's impossible to know how the situation would have played out had it happened more recently instead of in 2007, beyond the idea that it would have been far more public. In any case, those wondering what Isaiah Washington is up to these days can catch the actor showing off his culinary love on Fox Nation's Isaiah Washington: Kitchen Talk.
While neither Isaiah Washington nor Katherine Heigl are on it anymore – unless the showrunner has more mega-surprises in store – Grey's Anatomy is back on ABC for Season 17, which airs Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET. While waiting to see what happens next on and off of the show, head to our 2020 Fall TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2020 rundown of shows.