Off-The-Wall Claims Isaiah Washington Made About The Grey's Anatomy Set

Isaiah Washington's breakthrough role as Dr. Preston Burke in ABC's medical TV series, "Grey's Anatomy," was shortlived but not without some behind-the-scenes drama. During an October 2006 on-set altercation with Patrick Dempsey, Washington hurled a homophobic slur at T.R. Knight, who played Dr. George Malley on the medical series. In the wake of the incident, Knight came out as gay, while Washington offered a public apology to all offended parties. "I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set," he said in a statement to People. "Both are beneath my own personal standards. I have nothing but respect for my coworkers and have apologized personally to everyone involved."

Though show creator Shonda Rhimes initially told People that there was no plan to fire Washington, the "Crooklyn' actor was eventually kicked off the show in June 2007 after two separate incidents that saw him using a homophobic slur. Unsurprisingly, Washington was not very pleased with his dismissal, which he described as disappointing. "I was not fired for making homophobic slurs," Washington told Houston Chronicle(via Fox News). "I did everything I said I would do. ... I wanted everyone to know I was remorseful."

While Washington has insisted over the years that he was unfairly treated, the "Clockers" star has also shared some disturbing claims from his time on "Grey's Anatomy."

Isaiah Washington says he was used as a scapegoat

In October 2021, Isaiah Washington opened up about his time on "Grey's Anatomy," and his experiences on set. Speaking during an appearance on KBLA Talk 1580, Washington accused the show's executives of using him as a cover-up for other issues happening on the set. In the interview, Washington alleged that Patrick Dempsey who plays lead character Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on the show was not as likable as portrayed to be. "He was not a nice guy from day one. But he liked me and once I had a conversation with him, he said, 'Isaiah, do you know that white men are the masters of the universe?' And I said, 'You really believe that?' And he said 'Absolutely,'" Washington recounted, via US Weekly.

Even more so, Dempsey's alleged bad behavior on set got him into trouble with some of the other cast members including Ellen Pompeo who served as his on-screen love interest. However, according to Washington, Pompeo received $5million dollars in hush money to keep mum about her unpleasant experiences with Dempsey. "I didn't know that (the homophobic accusation) would stick to me so hard. But I found out why," he explained. "It was an agenda to cover up for the toxic and bad behavior of many of my former castmates on that show. And the top of that would be Patrick Dempsey."

He claims there was drug use on set

In a string of tweets shared back in May 2023, Isaiah Washington raised new claims about "Grey's Anatomy" and his former teammates. "Hmmm...I wonder if I should tweet about the rampant alcohol and drugs used amongst my fellow cast mates and Producers of Grey's Anatomy and all of the swingers parties that took place?" Washington tweeted alongside a picture of himself from the show. "I remained clean for 3 years and declined the after-hours hot tub invites because I was convinced that I would lose my contract with a urine analysis at any moment and lose my dear wife if I got in that woman's hot tub. I wonder."

In a follow-up tweet, Washington recounted a conversation with show producer Rob Corn, claiming, "I wonder if I should post about how Producer Rob Corn told me that he had to break into the apartment to wake up one of my former cast mates because he would get so drunk that he couldn't get to the set of Grey's Anatomy. Allegedly this happened multiple times. I was never late to work. NEVER," Washington wrote in the tweet.

Washington clearly still has a lot of reservations about his time on "Grey's Anatomy," he believes he has paid his dues in the industry. "It is with a heavy heart and a sense of relief that I am announcing my early retirement from the entertainment industry today," he announced on Twitter in February 2023.