Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes seems to think so.
Homophobic actor Isaiah Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke during the first three season of the wildly popular medical drama, was fired in 2006 after referring to his out costar T.R. Knight as a “faggot” in a verbal altercation on set. He thinks his dismissal was “racist.”
The Hollywood Reporter revealed this week that Washington’s character will return to Grey’s as a guest star in May because Rhimes believes homophobic men who freely drop the fag-bomb are “vital to the journey” of fictional characters in her show.
Dr. Burke was the love interest of Dr. Christina Yang, played by Sandra Oh, for the first three seasons before he was written out of the series. Oh announced that she will be leaving the series this season, and Rhimes wants to bring noted homophobe Washington back to “give her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Christina Yang.”
Knight left the series shortly after Washington in 2009, when Rhimes punished him for forcing her to fire Washington by drastically cutting his screen time. Washington never officially issued an apology, instead claiming that he “regretted” using the word and personally apologized to members of the cast.
Washington won’t have the chance to call Knight a “faggot” again on set, but one thing’s for sure — Rhimes will feel right at home (at least for one episode) with a fellow homophobe back in her corner.