ABC rebukes Washington for anti-gay comment

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ABC and Touchstone TV on Thursday responded to the latest controversy surrounding Isaiah Washington, reprimanding the "Grey's Anatomy" co-star for his use of an anti-gay epithet backstage at the Golden Globes.

"We are greatly dismayed that Mr. Washington chose to use such inappropriate language at the Golden Globes, language that he himself deemed 'unfortunate' in his previous public apology," the companies said. "We take this situation very seriously. His actions are unacceptable and are being addressed."

Washington, who was not filming Thursday, was expected to have a sit-down with the cast today on the set of "Grey's" to address the issue. For now, he is said to be continuing on the show.

The current brouhaha stems from an interview Washington gave Monday at the Golden Globes, in which he denied using the anti-gay remark in a widely reported on-set incident in October involving co-star T.R. Knight.

"No, I did not call T.R. a faggot," Washington told reporters at the Globes, where "Grey's" won for best drama series. "Never happened, never happened."

It was that denial and the use of the slur in question that brought the issue back into the spotlight.

On Tuesday, Knight -- who soon after the October incident publicly acknowledged that he is gay -- appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

"He referred to me as a faggot," Knight said. "Everyone heard it."

A day later, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation came out with a statement slamming Washington's repeated use of the anti-gay slur.

In an apology issued by Washington on Thursday, he acknowledged "repeating the word Monday night."

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance," he said. "I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on 'Grey's Anatomy.' I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help."

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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