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Old 01-19-2007, 09:24 AM   #1
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Should Grey's Anatomy Actor Be Fired For Using The F Word?

Not that F word, the one that really matters. Not only did he use it when he had a fight with Patrick Dempsey on the set, referring to his gay coworker (who was then publicly outed as a result), but he actually said it again in the press room at the Golden Globes, when denying that he ever called him that (which is an outright lie in my opinion given the first hand accounts of the incident). So why hasn't ABC fired him? If he made a racist or anti -Semitic comment, wouldn't he have been fired immediately? I think so.

I am a fan of this show and this angers and saddens me, and I think he should be fired. Not only has he created a hostile work environment but he has hurt a coworker so much-and offended the audience of the show. I for one am offended. When I watch the show now I think of him using that word-every time I see him. And of how TR must be hurting over the whole thing.



By SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer 32 minutes ago

The heated controversy at ABC's top show, "Grey's Anatomy," boiled over Thursday as the network rebuked co-star Isaiah Washington for an anti-gay comment and Washington issued a lengthy apology.

"We are greatly dismayed that Mr. Washington chose to use such inappropriate language at the Golden Globes, language that he himself deemed `unfortunate' in his previous public apology," the network said in a statement.

"His actions are unacceptable and are being addressed," the statement conclude.

During a backstage interview Monday at the Globes gala, Washington denied involvement in a heated on-set incident in October during which an anti-gay remark was reportedly uttered.

"No, I did not call (co-star) T.R. (Knight) a faggot," Washington told reporters. "Never happened, never happened."

In his apology Thursday, Washington acknowledged "repeating the word Monday night."

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance. I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on `Grey's Anatomy.' I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help."

ABC said in its statement it has "a longstanding policy to maintain respectful workplaces" for its employees, adding that the network had "dealt with the original situation in October, and thought the issue resolved."

Thursday's events followed a critical statement Wednesday from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Neil Giuliano, GLAAD president, said he had contacted Washington's representatives in hopes of meeting the actor to discuss "the destructive impact of these kinds of anti-gay slurs."

"Washington's repeated use of it on-set and in the media is simply inexcusable," Giuliano said in the statement.

Washington said on Thursday that he welcomes the chance to meet with gay and lesbian community leaders "to apologize in person and to talk about what I can do to heal the wounds I've opened."

"I know a mere apology will not end this, and I intend to let my future actions prove my sincerity," Washington said.

Knight, who said soon after the October fracas that he is gay, appeared in Tuesday's taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to discuss the original incident and Washington's recent comments.

"He referred to me as a faggot," Knight said of the October incident. "Everyone heard it."
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:30 AM   #2
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Maybe he thought it was ok to use the word. I mean its JUST a word, i don't think someone should be fired over using a word. Sticks and stones really. If he was physical, then something should be done, but c'mon its just a word. Its the connotations that someone puts on the word that makes it harmful, not the word itself.

I have gay friends, who call each other fags, i call them fags, its not a big deal. Its only a big deal if people make it a big deal, and obviously people are because its a hot topic and media wants to sell more newspapers and tv ex want to have more people tune into their shows.

While i agree that it is derogatory to call someone a faggot, i don't believe it is enough to warrent being fired.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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I don't think he should be fired for using the word. If he gets fired it will be for causing an uncomfortable work environment. They already said he shouldn't be speaking in public...
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:40 AM   #4
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What about the n word, would that warrant being fired? I can't believe that, in most corporate environments, it wouldn't.

The workplace isn't treated the same as when you are around your friends, and it shouldn't be. Friends calling each other fags, and you calling them fags and obviously they don't have a problem with that, just isn't at all comparable to what happened here.

At this point I think firing has become a possibility due to his reigniting of the whole thing at the Golden Globes. At what point does it become such a PR nightmare for ABC that they don't just fire him, even though they didn't after the first incident? It has become a PR thing and not just a moral mess for them. And tv is driven by things like PR.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
What about the n word, would that warrant being fired? I can't believe that, in most corporate environments, it wouldn't.

Language itself isn't a firable offense, it's usually how the language is used.

Some can make a completely asinine racist joke amongst employees and not be fired, but if the word was used at another employee or said in front of clients then it can be a firable excuse. This is my experience in the workforce, obviously different companies work under different guidelines.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Language itself isn't a firable offense, it's usually how the language is used.
I understand that, but no matter how angry someone is at any given moment-how can calling a coworker a faggot ever be deemed acceptable? It was definitely not an asinine joke. If I recall correctly, he said something to the effect that "I'm not your little faggot like TR" to Dempsey, I'd have to look it up. Then of course he said it again in his denial, and the reporter's question wasnt even directed at him.

Like I said in my edit, if ABC fires him it will likely be for PR reasons, not other reasons. They just have to legally cover themselves

The look on TR's face when Washington said that backstage at the Globes, I just can't forget that. He looked heartbroken.

And I'm sorry for typing the word out here, honestly I cringe at even typing it. It feels wrong to even do that, that's just my personal view.

This is what happened, accdg to People Magazine

A set source says that when Knight, 33, was late to film a scene, a debate ensued between Dempsey and Washington, with Dempsey insisting on waiting for Knight before starting the scene. The argument quickly intensified, and the source says that yes, the alleged slur was used, but Knight was not present at the time. (he said "I'm not your little f like TR).

"Isaiah was running his mouth off," says the source. "Isaiah verbally attacked Patrick – he tore into him. Patrick's voice escalated and he did tell Isaiah to 'f– off, (but) that was as heated as Patrick got."



TR wasn't present at the time, but what does that matter? He was present Monday, and I'm sure it must have been so uncomfortable for him. It must be so hostile and uncomfortable for the whole cast too.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Language itself isn't a firable offense, it's usually how the language is used.
I disagree. In several college courses, we looked at case studies like these, more in a business setting (I was a business communications major). In every case, the employee was fired. One case in particular was a true story, someone who was the top sales rep for whatever sector of AT&T my prof used to work for said something derogatory about another co-worker and was fired immediately. Maybe this isn't common, but we were taught that this is definitely a firable offense because it is a liability to the company. It turns away customers and co-workers and no matter how dumb it might sound, you will lose business (or in this case fans/viewers) for allowing this type of behavior.

Personally, I have no use for any type of derogatory language, even in jest, and no use for people that think it's OK. How hard is it to speak appropriately and avoid words you KNOW will offend people? Not that hard. I don't think a slip up is much of an excuse, sorry.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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I think he should be fired and put on the same pedistal as Mel and Richards.

Why is it he is not judged and blasted for what he said but when Richards used the N word and Mel usining anti-semetic words they were judged immeaditly?
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen


I understand that, but no matter how angry someone is at any given moment-how can calling a coworker a faggot ever be deemed acceptable?

Like I said in my edit, if ABC fires him it will likely be for PR reasons, not other reasons. They just have to legally cover themselves

I agree, it isn't aceptable. But it isn't acceptable to me on a moral level. Speaking legally, free speech should win, unless like I said it creates a hostile environment. You're correct, if he gets fired it will be for PR reasons more likely.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


I disagree.

One case in particular was a true story, someone who was the top sales rep for whatever sector of AT&T my prof used to work for said something derogatory about another co-worker and was fired immediately. Maybe this isn't common, but we were taught that this is definitely a firable offense because it is a liability to the company. It turns away customers and co-workers and no matter how dumb it might sound, you will lose business (or in this case fans/viewers) for allowing this type of behavior.

But isn't this a case of "how it's used"? Given the example above, let's say a co-worker called someone a bitch. He didn't get fired for using the word 'bitch', he got fired for using it towards a co-worker. If he had stumped his towed and yelled "son of a bitch", would he have gotten fired?
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24
I think he should be fired and put on the same pedistal as Mel and Richards.

Why is it he is not judged and blasted for what he said but when Richards used the N word and Mel usining anti-semetic words they were judged immeaditly?


I think you aren't seeing the same outrage for two reasons, one, the obvious society is still very homophopic so it's more acceptable. Secondly it wasn't said with as much rage behind it as Mel or Richards.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:27 AM   #12
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It does not matter, he still used the word, which is unacceptable. Is it acceptable since most of society is still homophobic?
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:31 AM   #13
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It does not matter, he still used the word, which is unacceptable. Is it acceptable since most of society is still homophobic?
I didn't say it was acceptable, I'm just telling you why you haven't heard more of an outcry like that of the Mel or Richards incident.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:33 AM   #14
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hate speech is unfortunately protected by the 1st amendment. while the f word can be used in jest or in hate speech, it is still protected.

i guess it is a matter of context though. i can almost promise you that if he worked at my office, he would for sure be fired, or at least stripped of his duties. perhaps not for using the f word, but i'm sure people here would dig up something on him as an excuse for firing him. at this university we are struggling to improve our campus climate and are committed to diversity (it is even in our mission statement). so we have very high standards of our faculty and staff. so like lies said, in terms of maintaining liability, if an employee did something that was not in line with our mission, something would definitely be done about it.

however, this is a very different context here than my work environment. i just wanted to offer up an example to what lies said before. anyway, it would be interesting to see how this plays out.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:53 AM   #15
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hate speech is unfortunately protected by the 1st amendment.
I wouldn't say it's unfortunate. It's unfortunate people still use this language. I would love to stop this language today, but make it illegal won't stop people from feeling that way.

You can't make the language illegal, for if you make this language illegal then someone may turn around and make your language illegal.
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