While speculation mounts about his future, disgraced Grey’s Anatomy star, Isaiah Washington, has appeared in a public service announcement (PSA) on U.S. television promoting tolerance.
The spot debuted on the ABC network on Thursday during two back-to-back episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.
The PSA is the result of a January meeting with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), during which the actor apologised for the repeated use of an anti-gay slur.
At the January meeting, Washington acknowledged the harm he had caused by his use of the epithet and expressed an interest in taking steps, such as appearing in the PSA, to combat prejudice and intolerance faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“Words have power, and far too often we see them used to dehumanise people because of our differences,” Neil G. Giuliano, president GLAAD said. “When Isaiah Washington lends his voice to that message – when he acknowledges the personal responsibility that he and each of us have to create a culture that rejects prejudice – it advances the kind of dialogue that’s absolutely essential to changing hearts and minds.”
The script for Washington’s PSA reads:
“Words have power. The power to express love, happiness and joy. They also have the power to heal. When you use words that demean a person because of their sexual orientation, race or gender, you send a message of hate. A very powerful message. But we all have the power to demand better from one another and from ourselves. We have the power to heal and change the world by the words we use.”
Speculation is mounting about whether Washington will return in a new season of the popular medical drama as a result of his anti-gay statements. Rumours suggest that he is currently looking for other work in Hollywood.
Washington came under fire in January for calling co-star T.R. Knight a “faggot” on the show’s set, and then repating the slur at the Golden Globe Awards.
Click here to view the PSA.