Not For Prophet

For a guy with a biblical name actor Isaiah Washington has sure made an unholy mess of his career. His now famous multi-use of an anti-gay slur cost him his job on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and, in my opinion, rightly so. Yeah, yeah he made the required mea culpas, but I’ve never been one for deathbed conversions. The whole point of “Grey’s” is to be a hip, angsty, emo soap opera … you can’t have a cast member making knuckle dragging comments — even off camera — and maintain any kind of integrity. What really floors me about Washington is he works in show business, an industry that depends on the whole human palette to survive and prosper. A homophobe in show business is like a pacifist in the military.

Anyway, it appears old Isaiah is going to land on his feet. NBC has already signed him for a role in the remake of the “Bionic Woman” series this fall. In fact, word is Washington and NBC Universal Studios are talking about another action series as well. Yes, action Isaiah how manly. In fact, Lynn Elber of the Associated Press reports that NBC Entertainment cochairman Ben Silverman thinks picking up Washington is a steal. “It’s like A-Rod leaving the Yankees in midseason,” Silverman beams.

I’ll let you insert your own A-Rod joke, but I think Silverman’s take on Washington is way out of line. He’s a competent actor. If you just knew him for his role on “Grey’s” you’d probably think pretty highly of him. Life, however, is more than what we do, it’s who we are. I’ve never thought the same of Woody Allen since the Soon-Yi Previn thing, and then there’s Mel Gibson — nuff said.

Everyone deserves a second chance and I’m not trying to say that Washington should be drummed out of the acting profession. He should get a shot at a second act. The standing ovation NBC is already giving him, though, is unearned and unseemly.


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