Isaiah Washington deserved to be fired, says Shonda Rhimes.
The Grey's Anatomy creator and executive producer is finally speaking out about the recently fired star.
TV Guide: How difficult was it for you to let Isaiah go, on a personal level?
Shonda Rhimes: It wasn't. It was a decision that was a long time coming, and it felt like it was the right decision for all of us.
So the decision to fire Isaiah was not something that was imposed on you?
Rhimes: The great thing about [ABC Studios head] Mark Pedowitz and [ABC president] Steve McPherson is they never imposed anything on me.
So you agreed with the decision?
Rhimes: Of course I did.
Do you understand that there were people that interpreted this as you turning a homophobic incident into a racial incident?
Rhimes: I do now. Absolutely. But I do think that [specific] discussion was disturbing to me — as disturbing as the entire incident that happened for T.R. and Isaiah.
In retrospect, do you wish you had spoken out sooner about the whole thing?
Rhimes: Here's the thing: I know for you guys it's incredibly frustrating that I didn't say something. And I'm kind of sorry, because I know you guys have stories to tell. For me, the story we have to tell is the story of the show, and my instinct when something like this happened is to sort of close the doors and hunker down with people who are my family and protect them as much as possible. The outside world became far less important to me than those people I work with every day, and making sure that those people I work with are OK. I wasn't worried about the outside world. The outside world's not something that I can control. But the people I work with every day were. And I really was spending my time dealing with that, not dealing with whether or not I should make a statement.
How are things between you and T.R. now?
Rhimes: We're good. I feel like everybody is working really well together. T.R. is doing some amazing work. We're moving forward. We're excited about the stories we're telling this season. It feels like they're fresh…. And we're going with the idea that we want to have a little bit more fun this season.
[Image via Celebrity Babylon.]