Everybody knows how much I love Grey's Anatomy, right? So you probably all know how deeply troubled I was a few months ago when news broke of a fight on-set between top docs Isaiah Washington, who plays the stern but compassionate Dr. Burke, and Patrick Dempsey, who plays the ever-studly Dr. Sheppard, aka Dr. McDreamy. I didn't like the thoughts of two of my favourite characters fighting in real life.
The situation became even more uncomfortable when word leaked that the argument and shoving match was the culmination of Washington firing insults at T.R. Knight, who plays the bumbling but lovable Dr. George O'Malley. Dempsey had stepped in to defend Knight, and that was when all hell broke loose.
It disturbed me to think of these actors, who all seem to have such chemistry and strong rapport on-screen, not getting along behind the scenes. The producers tried to smooth things over by saying these things happen in a tight family like the Grey's cast & crew, that it wasn't the first time a fight had broken out and that it wouldn't be the last. But rest assured, Grey's fans, we're all still buddies and you don't have to worry!
A few days later, rumours swirled that the real reason for the fight was because Isaiah Washington had called T.R. Knight a faggot, and Patrick Dempsey jumped in to reprimand Washington for the slur. Several weeks later, T.R. Knight came out of the closet, and said that while he was, in fact, gay, he hoped that that wasn't the most interesting thing about him. It became clear that the only reason Knight revealed his "secret" was because the fight with Isaiah Washington had forced him to come out of the closet.
At the Golden Globe Awards on Monday night, the whole messy situation was re-visited when, after Grey's won for Best Drama, Washington jumped in front of the mic at the back-stage press conference and declared, "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot." It was both unnecessary and inappropriate, and it put Grey's Anatomy and T.R. Knight back in a spotlight they were glad to have left behind.
Yesterday, T.R. Knight was a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen, as it is widely known, announced she was homosexual ten years ago on her popular sitcom Ellen, and since then she has been an inspiration to other gay and lesbian figures in pop culture to be honest with their public about their sexuality. Watching T.R. yesterday on Ellen was difficult. He's so sweet and adorable, exactly the way he is on the TV show as Dr. O'Malley, and I kept thinking to myself, "How can Isaiah Washington be so vile towards him? Why can't he just leave him alone?" What makes it even more confusing to me is seeing how the two are so close on the TV show. Dr. Burke & Dr. O'Malley have had a strong friendship, and in recent episodes, with George's father undergoing cancer treatment, he's been turning to Dr. Burke for his opinion on his father's health. How can two guys who are such good friends on TV be such opposites in real life?
On her show yesterday, Ellen pronounced T.R. the "McYummy" of the show, causing him to blush and laugh nervously, but I definitely second that, no matter what his sexual orientation is. However, I also have another McName I'd like to hand out, and that goes to Isaiah Washington. From this point on, I shall now refer to him as "McNasty". He may be kind and compassionate on Grey's, but in real life, this man is repulsive. T.R. tried to make light of the situation on Ellen's show, but it was obvious that he has been deeply hurt and embarassed by his cast mate. Ellen closed the segment by saying that she hoped that in this day in age, people can stop saying hurtful and mean things to one another, and then T.R. thanked her for paving the way for people like him, so that revealing this detail about himself was much easier than it was back when she did it.
McNasty sure hasn't made it easy on him, though. And I never thought I'd have something bad to say about Grey's Anatomy, but if Dr. Burke somehow didn't recover from the surgery on his hand and, oh, I don't know, say, died, I don't think I'd miss him one little bit!