Published October 3, 2013
Isaiah Washington paid the price for using homophobic slurs in 2007, and he’s just now getting his life back.
Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke on Grey’s Anatomy was fired six years ago for using homophobic slurs two times in public.
During an argument on set with his costar T.R. Knight, Washington called Knight a “f—ot.” Knight later came out as gay. Later, backstage at the Golden Globes, Washington threw out the slur again and because of so much public outrage, he was fired.
“After the incident at the Golden Globes, everything just fell apart,” Washington said. “I lost everything. I couldn’t afford to have an agent…I couldn’t afford to have a publicist…I couldn’t afford to continue.”
Washington moved to a village in Sierra Leone and discovered he had genetic ties to the Mende and Temn people in the area. He became chief, known as Gondobay Manga II by his villagers.
“For the last six years of my life, I’ve been fighting off bigots,” he told the New York Times, claiming that he has never been a bigot himself. “It’s, like, bigots want to embrace me, and I politely take their arms from around my neck. I don’t share their views, never have.”
Washington appears to be a changed man and will return to film in Blackbird, an “African-American gay coming-of-age story.”
“I’ve been so incredibly blessed,” he told the Times of his career thus far, and being able to return to the industry. “I’ve worked with some of the greatest professionals in town. I stood at the Golden Globes. I worked with Sandra Oh, bro! My life has been great.”