Isaiah Washington is getting some unexpected support in his bid to return to “Grey’s Anatomy” - a petition drive spearheaded by a prominent lesbian and gay activist who insists he shouldn’t have been axed for his homophobic remarks against co-star T.R. Knight.
Jasmyne Cannick, who worked with Washington on the Pan African Arts Festival, said she’s infuriated ABC booted Washington from the show’s upcoming fourth season for calling Knight a “faggot” during a scuffle on the set and believes it smacks of racism. So she’s launched a petition - which had 1,233 signatures as of last night - to get the actor his job back.
The petition says Washington’s firing “further adds to a disturbing new trend at ABC wherein minority actors have been dismissed at an alarming rate over the past two years. Blacks, including . . . Star Jones (’The View’), Harold Perrineau (’Lost’), Alfre Woodard, Mehcad Brooks and Page Kennedy (’Desperate Housewives’) have been let go . . . One must ask themselves, what is going on? . . . While we don’t approve of [Washington’s] use of the F-word at the Golden Globes, Washington has since apologized and gone on to perform community service by way of a public service announcement for the very organizations that have been orchestrating his dismissal. But it seems it wasn’t enough.”
The actor came under fire last fall after getting into an altercation with Patrick Dempsey, during which he slurred Knight. He later repeated the word at the Golden Globes. Washington later apologized, checked into rehab and met with gay leaders.
Cannick told us: “Isaiah has done more for the gay and lesbian community than T.R. Knight did in or out of the closet. He did what they asked him to do, and now they want to make sure he will never work again. At what point is enough enough?”
A rep for Washington denied the actor was behind the petition but added, “We appreciate [Cannick’s] support.”
Last week, Washington, 43, said he was “mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” regarding his dismissal. “I did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
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