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Washington on Patrick Dempsey’s silence

If Knight wasn’t there when Isaiah Washington used an anti-gay slur, why doesn’t Dempsey speak up?
/ Source: Access Hollywood

Just hours after T.R. Knight received his first Emmy nomination on Thursday, his former “Grey’s Anatomy” co-star Isaiah Washington sat down with “Access Hollywood’s” Billy Bush and offered congratulations to Knight.

Yet, there is still tension between these two actors. Knight claims Washington called him a homophobic slur on set, which Washington vehemently denies.

Knight, apparently, wasn’t there when it happened. Someone else was: Patrick Dempsey.

“Dempsey, it seems to me, could’ve cleared everything up by standing up and saying one thing. By saying, ‘Isaiah never said that to T.R. I was there,’” Bush suggested. “If he’s a friend, how could he not do that?”

“Nice observation Billy,” Washington grinned.

Washington admits he did use the anti-gay slur, but he denies using it against T.R. Knight, claiming instead it was part of an angry outburst at Dempsey, putting the McDreamy star in a unique position to be able to clarify what really happened.

“Patrick is… Patrick is Patrick Dempsey. And he protects himself well,” Washington said. “He did what he felt he needed to do and remained silent.”

But was Dempsey’s silence due to a gag order from ABC?

“Look, if the guy who is McDreamy on this incredibly successful, monetarily successful show says (you) never said that about T.R., they’re not going to fire him for that,” Bush said.

“Maybe he now knows and understands his power,” Washington replied. “We became closer together, but…”

“How close can you be if the guy doesn’t stand up for you,” Bush interjected.

“That goes to his character and how he felt about protecting his image,” Washington said.

“Well, if you figured you’d be good on your own, he was right,” Bush noted.

“And maybe that’s the kind of good ol’ boy mentality. Maybe it’s like ‘Well, he’ll be alright.’ I don’t know. I can’t speak for Patrick,” Washington said. “Good luck on getting anything out of Patrick or anyone in terms of how he feels about it. He chose to make the decision he’s made, but as it seems, it worked out in my favor at the end of the day.”

As it turns out, the very same day ABC let Washington go, NBC picked him up.

(MSNBC is a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft.)

“You got a new gig minutes later on NBC,” Bush said. “You must feel vindicated.”

“Yes I do,” Washington admitted.

In fact, he was immediately wooed by brand-new high-ranking NBC exec Ben Silverman.

“The day that you got let go, wow, what an emotional day!” Bush said.

“I didn’t want the sun to come up. I didn’t know what the next day was going to bring. But what it brought was Ben Silverman on the phone with my agent saying I was coming to NBC,” Washington explained. “True story.”

Not only is Washington developing his own action show with NBC, but he will also appear in several episodes of the network’s highly anticipated drama “Bionic Woman.”

But after all the controversy, is Washington worried about public backlash over NBC’s decision?

“In reality, there will be a segment of people who say NBC shouldn’t hire you. What do you say to them?” Bush asked him.

“That’s why I joined the military for four years and was prepared to put my life on the line for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That is their right to have their opinion, but I would love to invite them to any debate or any forum to get to know me, to talk to me,” Washington concluded.