Thursday, June 21, 2007

Keeping One's Mouth Closed

The latest twist in the Isaiah Washington scandal is a real doozy, as TVGuide.com reports today that it should have been T.R. Knight who was fired from "Grey's Anatomy," not him.

Say what?

According to the story, posted at http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-News-Blog/Todays-News/Isaiah-Washington-Greys/800017353 with material used from The Houston Chronicle, Washington said that while he did use an epithet against homosexuals, it wasn't directed at Knight specifically when Washington and co-star Patrick Dempsey got physical last fall.

Washington accuses Knight of using the incident to leverage more screentime and pay from the producers.

As idiotic as using a derogatory slur against any group is, Washington's latest statement may be one for the books. I was almost - ALMOST - ready to have the slightest bit of sympathy for him when he was fired a couple of weeks ago, because as he pointed out at the time, he did all the stuff ABC asked of him to try to make the situation right. And ABC hasn't really been the moral beacon in this case, because they chose to fire Washington only when it was convenient for the network - when the current season was over - and not at the time of the incident.

But Washington has not only crossed the line, he's moved two zip codes away from it.

Not even considering his bigotry for a moment in using the slur, Washington forced Knight's private life into the open when it was clear the latter wanted to keep it private, which is his right. There's no telling what impact this incident might have on Knight's career. What if producers don't offer him "straight" roles because they don't think he can be convincing in them, for example?

Washington's career, meanwhile, may have gotten the final nail in its coffin. His negative incidents on the set and perceived bias against homosexuals not withstanding, now trying to turn the victim of the situation into the villain might be the final straw for any producers in the future who might have considered hiring him. At this point, whomever is managing Washington's career needs to put a gag on him.

Had another "Grey's" actor used a racial epithet against Washington on the set, no doubt the actor would have demanded that person be fired, and would have had justification to do so. Washington needs to realize it's a two-way street.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: You know, if "Studio 60" had been as consistent as it has the past three weeks, the show would likely be on the air next season. The show (NBC, 10 p.m.) has really kicked it up a notch with the concurrent storylines of Jordan's pregnancy and Tom's kidnapped brother. I'm going to miss this show more than I thought.

The rest of the new stuff is pretty much all reality. You may want to catch up on "The Office" marathon, with three supersized episodes on NBC from 8-10 p.m.

1 comment:

zodin2008 said...

Phillip,

Thank you for mentioning that whole 2-way street problem. We seem to have a problem with this issue in America when it comes to derrogatory slurs.

Michael Richards made horrible statements about African Americans, and he was rightfully rebuffed and slammed.

Not surprisingly, the African American thought police (far from innocent over the years w/ their own horrible statements or actions)Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, were immediate and swift in their condemnation of Richards.

But here's my problem (among many problems I have with them) with Sharpton and Jackson.

They are loud and boisterouss when it comes to Michael Richards, but deathly silent at the hateful remarks of Mel Gibson towards Jews (and Jackson has had his own epithet issues going back with the Jewish community) and also silent when it comes to the actions of Isiah Washington. If you want to police people (like Richards) on Racial sensitivity, practice what you preach and condemn Gibson and Washington as well.

All 3 gentlemen should be equally condemned. That's really the point. No group, not the African American community, the Jewish community or the Gay community, deserves to be attacked. I just wish Sharpton and Jackson could attempt to think about that instead of their constant double standards. Oh, and let us not forget the Don Imus incident.

It should be noted that while Imus is jerk, Imus has been spewing awful remarks towards every single community for about 20+ years. It was his insensitive remarks towards the African American community that got him fired.

So, I am very pleased that Isiah Washington has been fired and his latest remarks only further prove that ABC (albeit late) made the absolute right decision. Bravo. Had Washington been allowed to continue, it would have been the most blatant racial double standard I have seen in years. But it's particularly offensive that he's once again going after poor T.R. Knight.

Considering how well liked Knight has always been amongst all his castmates from Katherine Heigl to Patrick Dempsey, I think it's pretty obvious who the good person and not so good person is in this situation.

The adorable and refreshingly upfront Heigl (so fantastic in this Summer's "Knocked Up") said it best after the 2nd anti Gay slur from Washington a few mos. back:

"He should not speak in public again--ever".

On to less controversial subject matters, "Studio 60" has been mostly terrific the last few weeks. I was rather disgusted by the uneccessary rant they had Simon's character go on last week...that scene almost singlehandedly ruined the episode.

Also, as someone with a pregnant wife, I have been a bit squeemish watching the recent Jordan/Danny storyline, but the actors are doing a great job with it.