IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ creator breaks her silence

“Grey's Anatomy” creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes spoke exclusively to “Access Hollywood” about the decision to terminate Isaiah Washington’s involvement with the hit ABC show.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

“Grey's Anatomy” creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes spoke exclusively to “Access Hollywood” about the decision to terminate Isaiah Washington’s involvement with the hit ABC show.

Since the announcement was made last Friday, Rhimes has remained silent on the situation — until now.

“I think there have been things that have happened that have been within the family that stay within the family,” Rhimes told “Access’” Shaun Robinson at the Crystal + Lucy Awards honoring Women in Film.

The “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner was elusively diplomatic as she addressed the situation, stressing the importance of soldiering on in the face of public scrutiny.

“I don’t want to read the tabloids,” she remarked, “and I feel like we wrote the show in a way that really completes the story of (Washington’s character) Burke, and that is a really strong thing.”

Washington, though saddened by the decision, acknowledged Rhimes’ distinct positionwhen he spoke to Entertainment Weekly earlier this week:

“You have to understand that (Shonda) is at the helm of one of the top-rated scripted shows on television... she called me on Thursday of last week (June 7) and told me that I would not be returning to the show. Just like she personally called me and invited me to the show. It was full circle.”

One thing Rhimes made clear is that there will not be any kind of magic trick pulled with casting. The character of Burke has definitely exited the show, along with the actor who plays him.

“I’ve said it before, I and I will say it again. I don’t believe in replacing one actor with another,” she said. “I think (a replacement is) a little bit odd in terms of somebody who has been on the show for three years.”

“Grey’s” co-star Kate Walsh, who told “Access” recently that Isaiah was “incredible” and “like the glue to the show,” echoed Rhimes’ sentiments last night. “I was surprised, yeah,” she said of Washington’s firing. “I don’t think that he is replaceable.”

Regardless of the controversy surrounding Washington, Rhimes focused last night on the achievements the show reached creatively this past year.

“I think this has been a sweet, sweet year for us,” she said. “We won the Golden Globe this year, I think the show took itself to new heights this year, I think we explored different things for women this year, I think we have had amazing guest casts this year. I think it’s been a sweet, sweet year for us.”

“Grey’s” actress Sara Ramirez hopes to continue that momentum into the new season. “I wish Isaiah the best, I really do,” she said, adding, “I think it’s time to get back to season four, and have a good time and enjoy ourselves — and keep on keeping on.”

And that’s just what Rhimes intends to do. “Shonda handles everything the way Shonda always handles everything,” Shonda told Shaun. “Through her typewriter, through the computer.”

“I think if you read the scripts, and you watch the show, you see what’s really going on in the show,” said Shonda. “And that’s important.”