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“Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington, fiercely criticized for an anti-gay slur he reportedly made last year, said on Friday he was “mad as hell” at being fired from the hit U.S. television hospital drama.
Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke on the show, was released on Thursday by “Grey’s” producers at ABC Television Studios, part of the network that airs the program.
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” Washington said in a statement, borrowing a line from the 1976 movie “Network,” which takes a harsh look at television.
Howard Bragman, the actor’s Los Angeles-based spokesman, declined comment.
An ABC spokeswoman confirmed the show’s producers did not renew Washington’s contract, but declined further comment.
Last year, Washington sparked controversy after a heated argument on the “Grey’s” set in which he reportedly called co-star T.R. Knight a “faggot.”
Washington denied the report. But Knight, who later came out as gay, said he had used the slur.
At January’s Golden Globe awards, where “Grey’s” was named top television drama, Washington caused further uproar when he again denied having addressed Knight with the anti-gay term.
Washington, 43, then met with gay and lesbian groups in Los Angeles, entered counseling and filmed a public service announcement denouncing hurtful speech.
“Grey’s” executive Shonda Rhimes said in January that the producers and ABC were working to address what she called Washington’s “behavioral issues.”
“Grey’s” focuses on the lives of interns and doctors at a fictional hospital in Seattle. It is one of the most-watched television dramas in the United States, averaging more than 18 million viewers a week.
In this past season’s final episode, Burke was supposed to have married another doctor. But he abruptly left minutes before the wedding was set to begin. He then cleared out of his fiancee’s apartment in a cliffhanger ending.
ABC is a unit of The Walt Disney Co.
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