A new report from the Hollywood Reporter confirms that Isaiah Washington will be returning to Grey’s Anatomy, seven years after he was fired from the show. He’ll reportedly guest star on an episode this May, marking the brief return of his character, Dr. Burke.
Washington’s return is reportedly to facilitate the departure of Sandra Oh, and the goodbye to her character, Cristina Yang. Sandra’s and Isaiah’s characters played on-screen love interests before Isaiah’s departure from the show in 2007, and he’s clearly coming back as an emotional tangent to Sandra’s goodbye.
As Shonda Rhimes [the showrunner of Grey's Anatomy] says, “It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should. Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang.”
Washington was fired in 2007 after making a series of homophobic gay slurs against co-star T.R. Knight, calling him ‘fa**ot’ and repeating the insult at the Golden Globes. The controversy following that caused him to lose his agent and publicist, and it also resulted in him losing his Grey’s Anatomy job. He claims that he never meant to say what he did, and that he’s tried to mend his actions since then. While his career has never fully recovered from the incident, the fact that Grey’s is actually having him back on the show should do some good for his reputation.
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