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The Minnesota Daily

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Dreamy, steamyand homophobic

Isaiah Washington strikes controversy with use of a homophobic slur.

Move over McDreamy, there’s a new doctor in town: McHomophobic. In October, Isaiah Washington, who plays Dr. Burke in the ABC hit series “Grey’s Anatomy,” was accused of using homophobic slurs against fellow cast mate T.R. Knight during an on-set scuffle. Although the incident garnered a lot of attention, it was soon placated by the show’s representatives who managed to quickly decompress the situation. The situation, however, has once again picked up steam after Washington denied the incident at a post-Golden Globe Awards interview last week.

Washington’s homophobic slur and refusal to own up to his actions have enraged many, leading to some petitioning for his immediate removal from the show. Desperate to save his job, Washington finally issued a public apology late last week, admitting for the first time his use of the homophobic slur and expressing his consequent apologies.

Even his apology, however, hasn’t been enough to stave off the public disgust over his despicable actions. The consequences of Washington’s continued inappropriate behavior have not only set off a media frenzy, but have hurt the show’s ratings. So far this season, “Grey’s Anatomy” has held a commanding lead against all other shows in its time slot. This past week however, even after Washington’s public apology, the show’s lead decreased dramatically.

Not only has Washington’s hateful and hurtful comments created a hostile work environment on the show’s set, but he has disrespected millions of men and women across the country. Washington’s affinity for such inappropriate and offensive behavior demands a much more severe course of action from ABC. This kind of hateful and hurtful language should not be tolerated – period. If ABC continues to appease all parties involved with well-crafted press releases and publicity stunts, we do not succeed in promoting the tenets of tolerance and acceptance. The longer ABC stalls, the more they become complicit in what has occurred.

Furthermore, we cannot help but believe that if Washington’s comments had been racially charged, the reaction from ABC producers would have been much more severe. ABC should not treat Washington’s homophobic hatred any differently.

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