Isaiah Washington continues to adamantly defend his on-set scuffle with Patrick Dempsey where he called T.R. Knight a “faggot” and is obviously very bitter about ABC firing him. In an interview with Newsweek, Isaiah regrets what happened, but also insists race was a factor in his firing. He says the reason he was let go is due to the fact he’s a 6’1” black man who isn’t a “mush-mouth negro” and doesn’t talk like he just got off the plantation.
The actor, who is traveling to Ghana next week with Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker and Forest Whitaker to recognize the end of slavery there 200 years ago, also feels that race played a part in his public flogging and eventual firing. “Well, it didn’t help me on the set that I was a black man who wasn’t a mush-mouth Negro walking around with his head in his hands all the time. I didn’t speak like I’d just left the plantation and that can be a problem for people sometime,” he says. “I had a person in human resources tell me after this thing played out that ‘some people’ were afraid of me around the studio. I asked her why, because I’m a 6-foot-1, black man with dark skin and who doesn’t go around saying ‘Yessah, massa sir’ and ‘No sir, massa’ to everyone? It’s nuts when your presence alone can just scare people, and that made me a prime candidate to take the heat in a dysfunctional family.”
Isaiah took a page out of my play book. A while ago, I said he should use the “It’s because I’m black defense.” I’m glad someone is listening out there. Although, I don’t know why he got so creative. If a 6-foot-1 black man came up to me and started saying “Yessah, massa sir” and “No sir, massa,” I’d be pretty scared. I’d think he was being really sarcastic because I said something offensive and now he was about to beat my ass and that would be bad. To quote Quinton Jackson, “Have you ever been beaten by a black man before? It hurts.”