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Isaiah Washington: Patrick Dempsey Was Toxic and Awful on Set of Grey’s Anatomy!


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Isaiah Washington has not appeared on Grey’s Anatomy in years.

But that doesn’t mean the actor doesn’t have an opinion on Grey’s Anatomy.

A whole lot of opinions, as it turns out.

Several days ago, Washington was a guest on Tavis Smiley’s KBLA Talk 1580 radio show, opening up in detail about his miserable time as Dr. Preston Burke on this long-running ABC drama.

Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey

“Every single day I was a problem that was being reminded, ‘You’re No. 4 on the call sheet. You’re not the star of this show,”‘ Washington told Smiley of the way he was constantly reminded just where he stood in the show’s pecking order.

Washington, of course, was fired in 2007 after he allegedly used a homophobic slur on set.

But he argues now that his ousting was merely part of a larger agenda.

The actor says he was a scapegoat.

as burke

“It was easy. I didn’t know that it would stick to me so hard. But I found out why,” Washington explained of his firing and the supposed reason behind it.

“It was an agenda to cover up for the toxic and bad behavior of many of my former castmates on that show.

“And the top of that would be Patrick Dempsey.”

Ah, yes. Patrick Dempsey.

Known as McDreamy during his run on Grey’s Anatomy, Dempsey reportedly became a terror on set toward the end of his stint on the series.

In a section of Lynette Rice’s “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy,” producer Jeannine Renshaw cited a (non-sexual) HR complaint against Dempsey back in the day and added:

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“He sort of was terrorizing the set. Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him.

“He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people.”

Creator Shonda Rhimes felt she had no choice but to get rid of Dempsey, killing off his character in a 2015 car accident.

Elsewhere in this same book, writer Mark Wilding detailed a fight between Washington and Dempsey back when they both were main cast members.

“It was my episode. I think one of them had been late to set one day and the other one then decided to pay him back by being late himself. Then it sort of exploded,” Wilding said.

“They got into an arguing match, and then before you know it they were physically fighting. I was standing there in video village. I’m, like, six feet four inches. I’m bigger than both of them.

“But I didn’t really jump in right away because I’m like, I don’t know if I want to get involved.”

While discussing his past issues with Dempsey, Washington considered money to be the initial problem between them.

“At this point, I was the highest paid person on that show, next to Patrick Dempsey,” he said.

“Apparently, it got out, so there was a lot of resentment. I understand that but it was based on my roles and my resume. I can’t help that.

“He was called Pilot Poison. No one wanted him on the show. They wanted Rob Lowe.”

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Washington closed out his take on Dempsey as folllows:

“He was not a nice guy from day one.

“But he liked me and once I had a conversation with him, he said, ‘Isaiah, do you know that white men are the masters of the universe?’ And I said, ‘You really believe that?’

“And he said ‘Absolutely.”


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