A Hollywood actor best known for his stint on ABC's long-running medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" has announced his "early retirement."
On Wednesday afternoon, Isaiah Washington took to Twitter to announce that he would no longer appear on the big or small screen.
Washington opened the message by stating that his decision to retire gave him both "a heavy heart" and "a sense of relief." Though his acting career, which began in the early 1990s with roles in several Spike Lee films, has had its ups and downs, his statement indicated that his decision to step away from the entertainment industry was based more on his struggle with social media and his public image.
"Those who have been Following/Witnessing my journey here on Tw*tter since 2011 all know that I have fought the good fight, but it seems that the haters, provocateurs and the Useful Idiots have won," Washington stated, adding that he had grown tired of the "color construct" that divides Americans rather than uniting them.
Washington also added in the statement that he is no longer "interested in politics or anything vitriolic," but he then referred to himself as a "Frederick Douglass Conservative" who simply wants to travel "this great country before it falls into Socialism and then Communism."
In 2019, Washington distanced himself from many fellow celebrities when he announced that he had walked away from the Democratic Party and begun to favor then-President Donald Trump, especially after Trump signed the First Step Act, a so-called prison reform bill that Washington supported. Trump invited Washington to the White House to celebrate the bill becoming law.
"I voted for 44 twice," Washington tweeted at the time. "I even checked my emails in his Senate Office while lobbying for Salone to be given another chance to rebrand. Not once in 8 years was I given any support regarding Africa or the Black Agenda, but 45 invites me to the WH to celebrate the #FirstStepAct."
Washington insisted in his retirement tweet that he will keep his political "powder dry," but that he no longer wants to continue battling in Hollywood. He closed the tweet by reiterating that he still intends to make an occasional appearance on social media but that his role in the film "Corsicana" would likely be his last.
"Be safe out there. Your loved ones love you and need you. SALUTE!" the statement concluded.
Washington, 59, spent three seasons (2005-2007) on "Grey's Anatomy" as Dr. Preston Burke, a cardiothoracic surgeon who has a tumultuous relationship with intern Cristina Yang, played by Sandra Oh. The role earned Washington two NAACP Image Awards.
Washington lost his gig on "Grey's Anatomy" after he referred to cast member T.R. Knight, who identifies as gay, as a "fa***t" while arguing with fellow co-star Patrick Dempsey in October 2006. Though Washington apologized publicly on several occasions for using the slur and even underwent counseling, ABC announced the following summer that it had not renewed Washington's contract, and he left the show. He did, however, make a guest appearance in 2014, during which time his character reunited with Yang.
Washington is the star, director, writer, and executive producer of "Corsicana," a Western film that recounts some of the adventures of Bass Reeves, the first black deputy U.S. marshal. It was released in 2022.
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