Actor Isaiah Washington will return to the medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy, a medical drama produced by Shonda Rhimes (Scandal) and Betsy Beers.
Washington as his original role, Dr. Preston Burke, as a guest star for a May episode. Seven years ago, he was fired from the series following on-set clashes and anti-gay remarks directed at then-closeted co-star T.R. Knight.
According to reports, he’ll return to say farewell to Sandra Oh, who played Cristina and was engaged to his character. Shonda said in a statement:
It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should. Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang.
In an October interview with THR celebrating the show’s 200th episode, Shonda said the aftermath of the Isaih controversy was a challenging time for her. She shared:
It was hard for me to write the show. Seasons four and five were difficult because I was in a dark place after the press frenzy that descended on us because of the [Washington and Knight situation and critical backlash to the stories]. In the beginning, it felt like such a magical place, and to discover that everyone isn’t who you thought they were is very unfortunate. Some awesome things did come out of it though. I found the Callie [Sara Ramirez] and Erica [Brooke Smith] relationship and Owen [Kevin McKidd, Oh’s most recent love interest] in there. There were things that were amazing because they pull you through. A lot of us joke that we have PTSD from that period of time — and we do.
Before the announcement of Isaiah’s return, theJasmineBRAND.com had an exclusive interview with the actor. When asked whether he missed Grey’s, he hinted:
You know what, I’m not gon’ speak on that. I saw Shonda recently and all I can say is, it’s all love. And that’s all I’m [going] to say on that.
He added that he is not upset with Shonda:
That’s my girl, she gon’ always be my girl. I don’t care what y’all say. You know, people forget; she fought for me, but I’m not expecting for her to give up a $10 million dollar check because people are mad. You know so, but that relationship is not over. It ain’t over.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. A specific date for his guest turn has not yet been announced.